This project helps people to localize and personalize climate change.
As a result it can have a powerful impact on people as they realize the places they love — their homes, places of cultural significance, greater community, places that in essence, make their community home — might be threatened or wiped out.
Neither Eve nor Heidi, or local community leads received formal training on how to handle the grief that arises as a result of the findings the data the artwork reveals. We intuitively created a safe space for people to grieve – we honored that we are all humans and scientific data can make you sad and cry when you appreciate the magnitude of how this data will impact your life and what you love.
We held a safe space for people through informal one on one or small group grief sessions over coffee, walks or dinners, where we just talked about feelings: shock, sadness, a sense of helplessness and more. There were no “to do’s” in these meetings, no agendas.
We want to impart that holding space for people to be human is critical in realizing this artwork. It’s ok if being human means that someone decides to take a break from the project for several days or weeks as they grapple with the emotional impact of the data. It’s ok if “to do’s” get delayed because people need space and time. You will find that if you hold a genuine and safe space for people to be human they will engage at a far deeper level.
Solutions Inspire Action
People can tackle a challenge if there is a roadmap to a solution(s), something positive they can talk to their neighbors about and strive to achieve. This is also why holding community workshops on solutions is key to the success of this project. While working towards these solutions we need to honor the path people often take and help facilitate their journey to arrive at a place of hope.