Climate Humor Can Break Down Barriers

Climate change is not a joke. Usually, messengers are scientists who describe how rising greenhouse gas emissions are threatening the planet’s land and sea surface, or assess the role it played in recent wildfires or hurricanes.

It is possible that society has reached saturation for somber, gloomy, and threatening science-centre conversations. This possibility inspired me to work with Beth Osnes, a colleague, to spread messages about climate change through humour and comedy.

Since around 20 years, I have been studying and practicing climate communication. My book, Creative (Climate) Communications, combines social science and humanities research to help people connect more effectively with issues that matter to them. This is not a dumbing down of science approach for the general public. It is a smartening-up approach that has been proven to bring people together around a divisive topic.

Climate Change

Understanding the magnitude of climate change and its connections to other issues like food security, disasters, and migration is crucial. Stories that are based on scientific knowledge have not been able to engage large audiences.

The majority of interpretations and approaches that are too gloomy or negative tend to stifle people rather than inspire them to act. Jonathan Franzen, a novelist, recently published an essay in The New Yorker entitled What if We Stop Pretending?.

Despite our best efforts, we have not made any progress towards achieving the goal (of stopping climate change) for over thirty years.

Research in social science and the humanities has shown that this type of framing is effective at disempowering readers. Smarter approaches could activate and move them.

Comics chose a different route when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a 2018 report warning that the world had only until 2030 to take measures to limit global warming to manageable levels. Trevor Noah, host on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, noted.

Do you know those crazy people who shout that the world is ending They’re all climate scientists, it turns out.

Kimmel Made The Following

There is always a silver lining. A planet’s calamity can be another planet’s opportunity for business. He then cut to a going-out-of-business advertisement for Planet Earth that read.

Everything has to go! 50% of all nocturnal mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects are on sale before hell can exist. You must act quickly, because the end of planet Earth is near. It’s gone.

Climate Getting Hot In Here

Social scientists and humanities scholars are looking for new ways to communicate climate change. Research has shown that experiential, emotional, tactile, visceral, and visceral communication meet people where they are, consistent with what I have written in my book. These methods are effective in eliciting action and engagement.

Scholars studied how shows such as Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Full Frontal, and The Daily Show, use humors to increase understanding. One example is Al Gore, former Vice President and he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 2017 to take turns with Colbert while he offered climate change pick lines over slow-jam background music.

Gore: Are you climate change? Because when you look at me, the whole world vanishes. Colbert: I am like 97% scientists, and it is getting hot here.

Colbert: Is it an Antarctic iceberg of the size Delaware breaking apart the Antarctic ice shelf? Or are you just happy seeing me?

Gore: I’m sorry, I hope you aren’t powered by fossil fuels. You’ve been running through me all day.

Sarah Silverman, comedian, took the time to discuss climate change during her 2018 Hulu program I Love You America. She spoke out about how climate change is driven by the interests of a very narrow group and absurdly wealthy and powerful people.

“The most disgusting irony is that billionaires who created this global atrocity will be the ones to survive. They will be fine, while we all die in our planet-sized hot cars.

Breaking Down Barriers And Finding Common Ground

Research has shown that comedy can reduce defenses in times of deep polarization. It temporarily suspends social rules, and connects people to ideas and new ways for thinking and acting.

Comedy can exploit cracks in arguments. It pokes, pokes, prods, and draws attention to the absurd, hypocritical and false. It can make complex aspects of climate change more understandable and help to manage them.

Comedy can be influenced by many disciplines, such as theater, performance, and media studies. My colleagues at the University of Colorado are Beth Osnes and Rebecca Safran. Phaedra Penzullo is my co-director of the Inside the Greenhouse initiative. This uses creative fields to create effective climate communication strategies.

We have been directing “Stand Up for Climate Change” for four years. This comedy project has been a success. Our students and I create sketch comedy routines that we perform in front of live audiences at Boulder’s campus. We have learned a lot about the audience’s reactions and the content of those performances. We have found that humor is a powerful tool for increasing awareness, learning, sharing feelings and inspiring performers and audiences.

It might be humorous to dismiss climate change as a trivial issue. This is especially true for the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. A greater risk is for people to cease talking about the issue and to miss the opportunity to reimagine their futures and actively participate in shaping it.


Half-Century Before The Hashtag Front Lines

#MeToo has an overwhelmingly positive impact on front politics, organize religions, education institutions, Hollywood and sports, as well as the military.

It is possible that sexual assault and rape are not yet well-known culturally. However, efforts to raise awareness about the issue aren’t being made.

In the 1970s, a group American female artists began confronting rape and incest through performances, videos and quilts.

They tackled a taboo topic and were at the forefront in raising awareness about these issues. My new book, Against Our Will Sexual Trauma and American Art Since 1970, explains how their tireless efforts to end sexual violence against women have reverberate in today’s #MeToo movement.

The Renaissance’s Heroic Rapes Front

These feminist artists sought to challenge what art historians call the heroic rape traditions of Western art when they emerge.

This tradition began in the Renaissance. Artists rendered assault, rape, and murder against women with a patina that was beautiful and heroic, which obscured the brutality of the crime. Titian’s Rape of Europa, for example, depicts an ancient Greek myth where Zeus transform himself into a bull in order to kidnap Europa and take her to Crete. He revealed his identity and raped her, giving birth to three children.

Titian depicted Europa as a eroticized woman, who appears to dance on the back of the bull as they fly towards the sky. Zeus is poised to rape Europa, despite the painting’s dynamic composition, playful cupids and rich colors.

Correggio’s Jupiter & Io depicts Jupiter, the Roman king among the gods, as he disguises himself as an cloud and embraces the nymph. He has no idea that Jupiter is actually seducing her. Io appears to be enjoying the lecherous act.

These works have been praised by many male scholars and critics over the years for their striking compositions, appealing colours, and idealized characters. The violent sexual subject matter was not given much attention.

However, art historians mostly female expressed concern about the content of these venerated works sexually violent contents by the 1980s. They pointed out that representations rape, even in historical contexts, seemed to glorify it.

They wondered why no one was talking about the fact this violent subject matter was so common, accepted, and praised. Why didn’t anyone question it? Is it indicative of a bigger problem than the art world?

Two Artists Alter The Story

To raise awareness about sexual trauma, you needed a visual counternarrative. It wasn’t pleasant. It was not beautiful. Shouldn’t have been.

Suzanne Lacy, and Leslie Labowitz were two of the pioneers of this movement.

They performed at least seven complex, large-scale public performances in Los Angeles. This helped to redefine rape both as an act of subjugation and a crime of aggression.

One was a 1977 piece titled Three weeks in May. Lacy also marked up two bright yellow Los Angeles municipal maps located in City Mall Plaza. The first map was marked by Lacy in red four-inch letters. It showed every place where a woman had been raped within a three-week span. Daily updates were made to the map using data from Los Angeles Police Department.

She highlighted on the second map the locations of rape hotlines and emergency rooms as well as crisis and counseling centers.

Passers by, whether they were City Hall employees or tourists, were immediately expose to the shocking number of rapes in the city and the resources available for victims.

Lacy and Labowitz were successful in raising awareness, attracting media attention, and encouraging survivors to seek treatment.

A Drumbeat Against Rape Front

These themes have repeat over the years by Lacy, Labowitz, and other artists.

Sue Coe’s 1983 painting, Woman walks into Bar Is Rape by Four Men on The Pool Table While 20 Watch, condemn the brutality and publicity with which four men gang-raped 21-year old woman, while patrons at a New Bedford, Massachusetts tavern watched and did nothing.

The 2002 installation Rape Garage, by Stefanie Bruser and Josh Edwards, Katie Grone, and Lindsey Lee was part of the At home project at Western Kentucky University. It was led by feminist artist Judy Chicago, and her husband Donald Woodman. Participants created installations that explored themes of manhood and womanhood in various rooms in a Kentucky house. The installation Rape Garage

was located in the garage of the house. It displayed statistics and posted first-person accounts of sexual trauma. It implied that pornography encourages rape, and even mentioned the possibility that a woman could rape a man.

In 2012, Lacy & Labowitz created an updated version Three weeks in May, titled Three weeks in January.

Lacy again created a rape chart, and this time he placed it outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Deaton Auditorium.

Showed That Rapes Front

The map showed that rapes have declined over the past 35 years. However, it also revealed that sexual violence continues to be a problem front in high schools and college campuses. The map was share by viewers who were encourage to tweet or blog about it.

Others followed their example. Emma Sulkowicz was a Columbia University visual arts major. She became a national figure with a piece titled Mattress Performance Carry That Weight. Some compared it to the 1970s anti rape performances.

Sulkowicz claim she was rape during her sophomore year. She decided to speak out after a university adjudicating panel found her alleged attacker not guilty.

She carry a mattress that was identical to the one she had been rape on her senior year for eight months. This included her graduation and classes. To protest further against college campus rape, other students joined her at Columbia University as well as other colleges.

The Rest Of The Country Comes Together

Although clarion sounds have been around for decades, they were often unheard or ignored. Things started to change in 2016 In 2016, more and more women and men began to speak up to demand justice and end the silence.

Judge Rosemary Aquilina sentenced Larry Nassar, an ex-USA Gymnastics doctor, to up to 175 year imprisonment for his sexual front abuse of young women.

Aquilina declared, It ends now. Speak up like these survivors and become part of our army.

The army now includes more than 150 female athletes whose voices heard on radio and television, and in newspapers. They were among the many victims of Hollywood celebrities, Hollywood bosses, journalists, politicians, and Catholic Church priests who had fallen victim to the #MeToo movement.

Let’s not forget about the feminist artists on the frontlines who courageously spoke out when others were silent about taboo subjects like domestic violence, rape, and incest.


Confederate Flag Pole Climb Art Statement

Bree Newsome, a 30-year-old helmeted art activist, scaled the South Carolina State House flagpole in the wee hours of June 28 and tore down the Confederate flag. It was almost 100 years since the Civil War.

It is easy to dismiss Newsome’s actions as a social-media stunt. Many people have dismissed it as a social media stunt. The Baltimore Sun cited two South Carolina legislators. Democratic State Senator Marlon Kmpson and Republican State Senate Shane Massey as saying that the action was counterproductive.

Yes, Newsome was detained and the flag was raised again. Newsome’s climb can still be seen as significant socially engaged performance art, which brought attention to the flag problem. It will eventually be removed and encourage people to reflect on the meaning of the flag, especially for African Americans.

There Two Types Of Socially-Engaged Art

Let’s have a closer look at the reasons for this. Two types of socially engaged art can be classified, actual practice and symbolic practice. (Newsome’s climb, the latter.

Pablo Helguera, artist and performer, has made the idea of actual and symbolic practice central to his book Education for Socially Engaged Art. Helguera is also the curator of public programming at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. He sees symbolic practice in socially motivated representations of ideas and issues in art.

Sonya Clark’s timely pieces, Unravel & Unravel, were a good example of symbolic practice. They were display at New York’s Mix Greens gallery days before the Charleston murders. Clark displays two Confederate flags in the work. Clark and volunteers completely dismantled one of the flags during performances in the space. The threads then bundle together into piles of blue, white, and red. The other half is still partially unravel.

Mother Jones noted that Clark used the flag unravel to evoke the slow, patient work involved in unravel racism. Actual practice projects, however, are direct actions that have an impact beyond gallery walls. Rick Lowe’s Project Row Houses, for example, preserved and revived a historic Houston neighbourhood. Tania Bruguera’s immigrant movement international offers workshops, events and actions for the public.

These large-scale projects ground in aesthetics and art. These projects provide social and community services, as well as gallery, performance, and gathering spaces poker pelangi.

Public Expression Encourages Change

Helguera emphasizes the importance of both kinds of practice in his book. He also discusses Jurgen Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Act, which suggests that social change is possible when people engage in rationally argumentative public conversations. This means that people must duke it out, in civil disagreement. Helguera says that communicative actions can have an lasting effect on the political and cultural spheres as a true freedom force.

Favianna Rodriguez is an activist artist whose work focuses on empowering people about racism and inequality. She points out that artists and cultural workers are crucial to achieving lasting and significant social change. This done by changing minds and hearts through culture and eventually by shifting power within communities. Rodriguez believes that legislative and policy changes are a two-step process and emphasizes that you must first change the culture before you can change politics.

National Conversation Art

This kind of national conversation can had by linking the Confederate flag’s symbolism to the murder of nine black men at their Bible study church in Charleston, as well as the Charleston shooting.

Here’s why Newsome was performing art when she climbed the Confederate flag. It took place in real life, and it served as a metaphor to dismantle institutionalized racism. The Superwoman-styled action of Newsome added a collective exclamation point for the demands to remove Confederate flag while tapping into deeply rooted American mythology about individual heroism.

People can mobilize large groups of people and bring about permanent change. That part of the myth is true. Newsome’s actions were a message to those who are tire waiting for racial justice and reenergize them for what lies ahead.

Although her action of removing the South Carolina State Capitol’s divisive flag did not permanently remove it from the Capitol, it attracted a lot of media attention. As a thrilling and vicarious experience, she performed an action movie gesture to remove the Confederacy symbol, which has been synonymous with racism for many.