Challenging entrenched narrative structures and ways of engaging with documentary films on environmental issues.
Michelle Johnston and Thor Kerr will discuss experimental forms of film making that challenge entrenched narrative structures and ways of engaging with documentary films on environmental issues. Michelle will discuss the making of My Green Planet, an interactive documentary that features the artworks of young people who were asked to imagine the future of our world. Thor will describe the challenge of making FarNearFutureNow to explore energy transformation in Australia as a disruptive trans-scaler encounter where futuristic visualisations appear anachronistically within the colonial space of resource exploitation and science fiction representation. They will reflect on the outcomes of these experimental projects and respond to audience questions about environmental narratives and film making.
About the speakers
Michelle Johnston is a Screen Arts academic and filmmaker in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry who is passionate about creating media for social change and working with communities who are misrepresented or excluded by the mainstream media. She enjoys teaching screen production and doing research in the fields of participatory documentary and Indigenous media. Her works include a co-authored book called Working Two Way: Stories of Cross-Cultural Collaboration from Nyungar Country (2020, M. Johnston & S. Forrest), a feature documentary about the Carrolup artworks called Heart Coming Home (2017, SBS), and a documentary about a Fremantle community of activists that is currently in production.
Thor Kerr is a researcher, writer and editor who focusses on temporal and spatial scales in environmental representations, particularly around infrastructure projects in communities on the Indian Ocean’s eastern rim. A Senior Lecturer in Curtin University’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, Thor’s books include Indian Ocean Futures (2016), To the Beach (2015) and Setting up the Nyoongar Tent Embassy (2013). Prior to this academic career, Thor worked with a variety of media forms in Southeast Asia and the Netherlands.