IN THIS EDITION

News
First screening of Temperature Rising
SA’s climate grant funding from developing countries doubles to $676m
Birdlife South Africa Spreads Its Wings to Reclaim Island as Seabird Sanctuary
Sea Walls: Local Artists Taking Part in the Powerful Art Project Announced
New biodiversity research project launched

Welcome new Mycelium members

To diarise
Local South – Storytelling as a tool to address inequality
Ways of Repair: Loss and Damage
Climate Storytelling from the Global South
Democracy Story Lab in Rio
Apply for Global Pitch 24
Greenpop Reforest Fest 2024

Film Festival and Competitions
Green Frames: VATAVARAN Short Film Competition and Festival, india
Hot Docs Film Festival, Canada
E?! Environmental Film Festival, Croatia

Interesting reads
Sustainable photographic garden explores innovative darkroom practices
A New Book Will Connect Us to the Oceans While Combating Marine Litter
Two African projects amongst the 2023 Earthshot finalists

We are loving …
Micropia, the Museum of Microbes
Carbon negative home is proof of concept for green concrete
Fix your Flop!

Who are Mycelium?   


WELCOME

By Vanessa Farr
Researcher and Activist

November 11th marks Armistice Day, on which the First European War of 1914-1918 officially came to an end, with millions dead. This “war to end all wars” did not end war; and this month’s newsletter is written with a heavy heart as violent armed conflict accelerates across our continent and in west Asia. The trauma caused by war is far reaching. Its immense harms shatter societies for generations. War targets not only people but our environment, causing violence to human and animal bodies, soil, water, and air, including through the deployment of military “forever chemicals” and because so many armaments remain unexploded in the ground, where they are a menace for decades to come.

We are also witnessing how the toxicity of war overlaps with and accelerates climate change, making it more imperative than ever for humanity to transition to a state of permanent peace. This month’s newsletter, as always, offers insights and opportunities to explore, take action, and adopt a way of life embedded in life-giving relationships and connectedness, so that each of us feels empowered to live with compassion for others and for self.

As adrienne maree brown says in We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice:

“Movements tend to become the practice ground for what we are healing towards, co-creating. Movements are responsible for embodying what we are inviting our people into. We need the people within our movements, all socialized into and by unjust systems, to be on liberators’ paths. Not already free, but practicing freedom every day. Not already beyond harm, but accountable for doing our individual and internal work to end harm and engage in generative conflict, which includes actively working to gain awareness of the ways we can and have harmed each other, where we have significant political differences, and where we can end cycles of harm and unprincipled struggles in ourselves and our communities.”


NEWS


First screening of Temperature Rising

The first film in the Hotspot Film Series, Temperature Rising was recently released and had one of its first Impact screening in Muizenberg, Cape Town. On Tuesday 24 October, Mycelium Media Colab hosted a screening at The Commons on the Muizenberg beachfront with facilitated discussion afterwards, led by Network member Shiara Pillay.

Co-director Jacqueline van Meygaarden, and youth protagonist in the film, Gabriel Klaasen were present to answer some tough questions from the audience. The engaged audience asked about mental health for climate justice activists, how to weave story with the information about the Just Transition into the film; how to support the movement to show the intersectional aspect of the climate crisis in this region, and the impact plans for the film. Audience members were encouraged to think through their own connection to climate justice with guiding questions and boards to note down ideas.

Temperature Rising is produced by Uhuru Productions and The Human Rights Media Trust and was directed collaboratively with a team of three. It features the journey and stories of three Southern African activists who are building a movement from below – pushing back against mining companies and banks that support fossil fuel investment; leading on getting young people to understand the just energy transition and the importance of ‘artivism’ and messages that are relevant for audiences in Southern Africa. Read more on: www.hotspotseries.co.za and stay connected with the campaign and project, as they release films from other countries in the region.



SA’s climate grant funding from developing countries doubles to $676m

South Africa has secured $676m in grants from rich nations for a transition to green energy, more than double what they initially promised but still only a fraction of the total package, the rest of which it will have to repay with interest. Rudi Dicks, head of project management in the presidency says that South Africa had been pushing for more of the $12bn currently on offer from Western nations to take the form of gifts rather than loans. The grant had initially been set at $329.7m.

“The president has made it very clear that he wants to see an increase in the grant component,” he said, adding that more grants could come in as the country heads to COP28 climate talks in Dubai. Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and the United States pledged $8.5bn at the climate talks two years ago, a figure which has since gone up as the Netherlands and Denmark, Canada, Spain and Switzerland joined the initiative. But South African authorities estimate the total cost of South Africa’s transition from carbon-intensive coal — which generates 80% of its power and is used to synthesize a third of its liquid fuel — at R1.5t rand ($78.44bn).

Dicks added that South Africa was in negotiations to possibly increase both the total package and the share taken up by grants at the talks, in which South Africa will present details on how it plans to spend the money. South Africa says its needs to develop skills in sectors like solar generation, electric vehicles and green hydrogen, assist coal miners losing their jobs and attract the private sector to invest in what it says are lower return projects. It aims to retire coal plants, ramp up renewable capacity and establish a green hydrogen export hub, among other things. “The implementation plan will go for cabinet’s approval by end October and will be presented at COP28,” Dicks said.



Birdlife South Africa Spreads Its Wings to Reclaim Island as Seabird Sanctuary

Conservation powerhouse BirdLife South Africa has spread its wings to help even more birds around the world after joining global island conservation mission, Island-Ocean Connection Challenge (IOCC). Part of the mission is to preserve and restore island paradises to their former seabird sanctuary status—no small-scale ambition.

Through Birdlife South Africa, Marion Island has also joined the island conservation movement thanks to an existing project established by BirdLife and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment—The Mouse-Free Marion Project which aims to restore the Island’s natural ecosystem and biodiversity as a seabird sanctuary, in what experts consider to be one of the most important conservation projects around.

Marion Island is a remote and windswept refuge halfway between Cape Town and Antarctica is the largest of the two Prince Edward Islands (South African territory). Though the island is uninhabited by humans, its place as a biodiversity treasure is still under impact because of past human interference. It is home to a quarter of the world’s Wandering Albatrosses, which are currently deeply threatened alongside 27 other seabird species.     “Marion Island was, and should be, a haven for wildlife, but invasive house mice accidentally introduced by sealers in the early-1800s have devastated the island’s invertebrates and plants, and the resultant food shortage has drive the mice to now prey on seabirds,” explains Birdlife South Africa.

The big problem is that the birds face extinction because of the mice and the climate change factors that have caused shifts in the natural ecosystem. “Put simply, if we can remove invasive mice from Marion Island we can address once and for all one of the significant threats that the island’s seabirds face, and thus facilitate a favourable conservation future for this globally important island and its magnificent seabirds.

Rather than containing or mitigating the threat, we solve it. Although the seabird populations on Marion Island are being increasingly impacted by mice, we have an opportunity to intervene to remove that threat, and allow the seabird populations to recover naturally without the need for species reintroduction programmes,” says Dr Anton Wolfaardt, Mouse-Free Marion Project Manager.

You can find out more about the Mouse-Free Marion Project, here.
 



Sea Walls: Local Artists Taking Part in the Powerful Art Project Announced

The PangeaSeed Foundation has announced a list of 11 South African and three international mural artists to participate in the Cape Town leg of their renowned public art programme Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans. Sea Walls: South Africa, presented by the Save Our Seas Foundation, starts Monday 6 November when a visceral procession of ocean creatures and flora will begin to appear on the side of 14 buildings around Cape Town to make an indelible mark in the fight to protect our oceans.

Heading to Cape Town for the inaugural Sea Walls project in Africa will be Antonio Segura, aka DULK, a native of Spain famous for his surreal depictions of endangered animals. DULK and Germany’s Yeye Weller, whose powerful cartoon style has attracted clients such as Warner Bros and the New York Times, will join Si Omar (aka Cracked Ink), the British street artist based in New Zealand known for his character-based, monochromatic creations. DULK, Weller and Cracked Ink will join top South African artists:Amy Lee Tak, Aweh Migo, Breeze Yoko, Care One, DBongz, Dirty Native Njabulo Hlophe, Marie-Louise Koen, Marti Lund, Motel Seven, Sonny Behan, and Stefan Smit. Marti Lund has completed the first mural, which you can see below:

This collective will add more works to PangeaSeed’s network of more than 500 murals in 19 countries by more than 400 artists utilising the motto: A Drop of Paint Can Create an Ocean of Change. Apart from the actual work in locations such as Gardens, Kalk Bay, Newlands, Muizenberg, Cape Town CBD, and Salt River, visitors can enjoy a week-long, free-to-the-public programme that includes a youth outreach at local schools, a coastal cleanup, and self-guided driving tours to the murals.



New biodiversity research project launched

A new biodiversity research project called BioSCape has been launched. The project will use data from satellites, airplanes, and field observations to better understand the biodiversity of the Greater Cape Floristic Region and how nature benefits people.

“BioSCape is a unique and exciting project that will help reveal new insights about the biodiversity of one of the most diverse regions on Earth and provide new tools for mapping and monitoring it,” said Dr Jasper Slingsby, the South African lead scientist and lecturer at the University of Cape Town (UCT). “This information will be essential for supporting effective biodiversity conservation and management strategies for the region.”

BioSCape is a collaborative project that brings together scientists from around the world to study the biodiversity of the Greater Cape Floristic Region. The project is committed to capacity building and education in South Africa, and it is expected to benefit the world by improving an understanding of biodiversity and developing new technologies for monitoring and managing nature’s contributions to people.

Slingsby said that BioSCape will also benefit the world by improving an understanding of biodiversity and developing new technologies for monitoring and managing nature’s contributions to people. “BioSCape will also help us to better understand the impacts of climate change on biodiversity.”

After two years of intense planning, the majority of data collection will occur from mid-October to mid-December 2023 to coincide with aerial surveys conducted by NASA aircraft and instrument teams. The aerial surveys will collect UV/visible to short wavelength infrared (UVSWIR) and thermal imaging spectroscopy and laser altimetry LiDAR data over terrestrial and aquatic targets using four airborne instruments: AVIRIS-NG, PRISM, LVIS, and HyTES.

The instruments will be operated from two NASA Gulfstream aircraft. The anticipated airborne data set is unique in its size and scope and unprecedented in its instrument combination and level of detail. The airborne data will be accompanied by a vast range of biodiversity-related field observations from vegetation surveys, measures of plant and water spectral reflectance, phytoplankton samples, recordings of bird and frog calls and environmental DNA.


Welcome new Mycelium members
 
We are a network of changemakers, regenerators and multimedia creatives working on different aspects and at different scales but all with the same passion to bring about a better world. A critical element necessary for large-scale transformation of our social and economic systems is the ongoing co-creation and sharing of knowledge. We are delighted to have new members join the Mycelium Network!

LUXOLO WITVOET
Visual Artist

Speciality Area: Conceptualisation, Creative Direction, Photography & Editing.

Experience: 7 years experience as a photojournalist, photographer, film editor, art installer and illustrator

Skills: A passion to tell stories for the greater good of humanity, extensive years of photographic experience, imaginative and out of the box thinking a love to create beautiful things that soothe the psyche and a willingness for collaboration and peer learning.

Love is the antidote.

ANGELA COETZEE
Researcher, Consultant, Project Manager

Speciality Area: Project and process design and strategy, based on sound research and contextual understanding and logic, and building strong effective teams to implement this work whilst playing to their strengths and serving their passions. I have a keen interest in socio-economic development work, particularly focused on food sovereignty and sustainable livelihoods, and unlocking agency through emancipatory education, training and learning. All of this demands a sound understand and appreciation of complexity and enrolling people into systems change.

Experience: Fundraising and project support acquisition. Multi-country project management for local and international donors and corporate clients. Project and programme design in areas of speciality. Research, writing and editing for academic and mainstream audiences. Communications strategy development for social development or advocacy organisations. Process and/or learning facilitation for the higher education, non-profit and corporate environment.

Skills: Strategy development; Project/programme design; Project management; Research, writing and editing; Facilitation and training.

If we don’t challenge the systems that limit people from fully being human then we rob ourselves (and others) from experiencing an abundant life and therefore from living in a healthier world. Enabling this change starts in our minds – by designing a new story…


DIARISE
 
Local South – Storytelling as a tool to address inequality

While many civil society-led projects and programmes across the Global South are working to reduce a range of inequalities, it is sometimes difficult to get a more nuanced picture of these and/or communicate these to a broader audience. Storytelling – in various forms – is a tool that can help both in gauging the qualitative impact of initiatives as well as disseminating the importance of this work to the public.

During 2022 and 2023, Local South worked with CONCORD Europe to research and produce a series of stories in South Africa and Bangladesh about EU-supported projects on inequality reduction, titled: What makes the difference for equality? Voices from South Africa, Paraguay and Bangladesh on what the EU can do.

Using the stories captured in the publication, the aim of this session is to engage with others about how stories and narrative were used to capture these initiatives around inequalities, when this approach is appropriate, and what other storytelling tools can be used. The ultimate objective is to share experiences and identify gaps where stories and narrative could supporter broader goals to reduce inequality.

Speakers:
Marcela Guerrero Casas | Local South | Colombia & South Africa
Dustin Kramer | Local South | Colombia & South Africa
7/11/2023  at 12:00 pm | UCT Conference Centre | Breakwater Lodge | Room: 1

Contact: dustin@thelocalsouth.com
Registration link
 


Ways of Repair : Loss and Damage

The Loss and Damage Collaboration’s Art and Culture Program is pleased to announce the launch of Ways of Repair : Loss and Damage an online artistic research residency aimed at facilitating a transdisciplinary exchange around the issue of loss and damage caused by the climate crisis.

With the climate crisis escalating and loss and damage increasing, the artistic research residency aims to empower artists to contribute to the paradigm shift that is required to move us past this era of polycrisis which we now find ourselves within. By doing so, Ways of Repair : Loss and Damage hopes that alternative narratives and representations will emerge that can influence thinking and decision making on how to address loss and damage beyond the technical and scientific solutions currently offered.

Taking place between January 2024 and January 2025, the Ways of Repair : Loss and Damage public online program will feature four key moments (three workshops and a symposium) aimed at fostering dialogue between the selected artists and/or curators and Loss and Damage researchers from around the world.

Deadline: 12 November 2023, 23:59 GMT
More information
 


Climate Storytelling from the Global South

Devastating heatwaves,extreme weather events, and crippling droughts leave no corner of the globe untouched. However, it is the Global South that bears the brunt of these catastrophic impacts. In a groundbreaking collaboration, CNN Academy and The Rockefeller Foundation are uniting to act.

Together, they are searching for 15 driven young journalists across the Global South who are dedicated to shedding light on the profound effects of the climate crisis within their home countries. At the conclusion of the program, participants will produce a compelling short documentary spotlighting the impact of the climate crisis. The documentaries will be entirely shot and edited by the participants.

Key Dates: November 27th to Friday, December 2nd: In-person CNN Academy training in Abu Dhabi
Week of December 3rd to December 9th: CNN Academy Climate Storytelling Simulation in Abu Dhabi

Application Deadline: 15 November 2023
More information
 


Democracy Story Lab in Rio

Calling non-fiction storytellers around the world! Applications are NOW OPEN for the second Democracy Story Lab, this time in Rio March 3-7, 2024. Are you working on a feature doc, short doc, or nonfiction podcast that reimagines our governments and highlights unique stories of democratic renewal? Do you want to be in community and conspire with thought leaders, movement builders, journalists, researchers, and other storytellers? Doc Society is inviting 6-8 media projects to gather in Rio in March 2024 to explore the narratives needed now in this moment of democratic crisis. Applications are open now until November 17. Find out more & apply: www.democracystoryfund.org/lab
 


Apply for Global Pitch 24

Join the international documentary community on February 6-7 online for the fourth edition of the Global Pitch! This year, the new edition will be dedicated to documentaries willing to shake things up in order to map a more sustainable world! Calling for stories that are important, powerful, original, committed and engaging, inspiring, moving, analytical, investigative, solution-oriented and dealing with issues and challenges linked to the 17 sustainable development goals in order to map what the world of tomorrow could and should be.

Projects in development or production, from all around the world, in all lengths and forms are welcome! Submit by Nov. 24, 2023 https://bit.ly/Global_Pitch_2024


Greenpop Reforest Fest 2024

Greenpop are looking for workshop facilitators, performers, artists, speakers, and teachers to co-create the next edition of their annual tree-planting celebration – Reforest Fest 2024! Share your magic at (probably) the biggest tree-planting festival in Africa. Workshop facilitators, performers, artists, speakers, and teachers apply here:
https://bit.ly/CollabRFF24  Deadline for applications: 1 Dec 2023
Reforest Fest 2024: 29 Mar – 1 Apr 2024


FILM FESTIVALS
 
Green Frames: VATAVARAN Short Film Competition and Festival, india

The Centre for Media Studies (CMS), with support from the U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai, invites short films for its ‘Green Frames: VATAVARAN Short Film Competition and Festival 2023’ .The theme of this competition is “Environmental Preservation and Climate Advocacy”. The competition, open exclusively for Indian citizens aims to highlight the urgency of environment/ biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation/mitigation and demonstrate how our lifestyle decisions affect the environment and promote best practices and positive stories that show how individuals, companies, and communities are grappling with environmental and climate challenges and taking action to improve the situation. Regular deadline: November 15  
http://greenframes.cmsvatavaran.org/
 


Hot Docs Film Festival, Canada

Submissions are open for the 2024 Hot Docs Festival, taking place in late April! This is your chance to premiere your film to industry leaders and the world’s best audiences. Hot Docs accepts Canadian and international documentaries of all lengths and subject matter. All films must have been completed after January 1, 2023. Features, mid-length films, and episodic series must be at minimum Ontario premieres (i.e. cannot have been screened publicly in Ontario prior to the 2024 Festival, including broadcast versions of any length or in any language). Regular deadline: November 16 More information
 


E?! Environmental Film Festival, Croatia

E?! Environmental Film Festival (E?! Okolišni filmski festival) was first imagined in 2014 by the Activist Group of Zelena akcija, Friends of the Earth Croatia. The aim was to bring the environmental topics closer to the new and wider public through documentary and feature films, as well as other content. We believe that environmental justice consists of ecological, social and economic justice, and that we cannot observe them individually if we want to achieve the systematic change that we advocate. We screen films and organize discussions, workshops and related content that informs and inspires, in order to encourage critical thinking, social change, solidarity and action. Regular Deadline: December 1, 2023  
https://okolisnifestival.zelena-akcija.hr/en/


INTERESTING READS

Sustainable photographic garden explores innovative darkroom practices

An eco-conscious project that has high hopes of fast-tracking research in the field of sustainable photographic practices and cultivating a sense of environmental consciousness and agency among students and staff on campus has been on the go on a little compost patch at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Michaelis School of Fine Art. The sustainable photographic garden explores new, innovative ways of working with darkroom-based photography, but the rule is clear: materials must be more environmentally friendly than traditional silver-based darkroom practices. Read more.


A New Book Will Connect Us to the Oceans While Combating Marine Litter

The release of the new book
Captain Fanplastic & the Black Mermaid is something any eco-conscious or curious reader (no matter your age) can get excited about as page by page we connect a little more to the oceans while combatting marine litter.

Authored by Social Behaviour Change Expert & Head of Programme at Captain Fanplastic, Ruben Hazelzet, this book serves as a catalyst for change through experiential education at a time when the push to reduce marine litter is stronger than ever amid climate change, aquatic life conservation and environmental concerns. In a format that’s enormously easier to break down than plastic,  Captain Fanplastic & the Black Mermaid sheds light on the importance of recognizing our role in protecting the oceans, from wherever we are—whether we read it in classrooms or offices.

A powerful tool to engage readers of all ages in the mission to preserve our planet’s most precious resource, its core message is that the ocean doesn’t flourish far out at sea, but from choices that come from within all of us. According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), marine litter poses a grave threat to Goal 14: Life Below Water, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans.


Two African projects amongst the 2023 Earthshot finalists

Two African projects have emerged as finalists in the 2023 edition of the prestigious Earthshot Prize, a global challenge that champions environmental solutions with the potential for global impact. The two are ‘ABALOBI’, a South African endeavour focused on ocean revival, and Sierra Leone’s ‘Freetown the Treetown’, dedicated to protecting and restoring nature through urban forestry. These projects were chosen from a pool of over 1300 nominations, spanning six continents.
African Mirror


WE ARE LOVING…
 
… these initiatives which support our aim of living in a more sustainable world.

Micropia, the Museum of Microbes

Micropia, the only museum of microbes, is located in Amsterdam. It adds an important new chapter to our tradition of collecting, displaying and experiencing the natural world. It is impossible to fully understand the interconnectivity of the natural world without knowledge of the most powerful, most successful and, at the same time, smallest organisms. Microbiology can help solve global problems, from water purification to developing new ways to cure infectious diseases. It can produce energy, food and bio-plastics. There is no end to its uses.
https://www.micropia.nl/en/
 


Carbon negative home is proof of concept for green concrete

A new home in the Bahamas called Home for the World, is made of carbon-negative concrete, which means it can absorb more carbon dioxide from the air than it emits during its production, construction, and use. The home is built by Partanna Global, a technology company that creates this special type of concrete using natural and recycled materials activated by brine, a saltwater solution.

It’s the first of its kind in the world and aims to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry, which is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Home for the World is also designed to be resilient to seawater, making it more suitable for coastal communities that are vulnerable to climate change. The unique material strengthens when exposed to seawater, unlike traditional concrete that corrodes and cracks.

The project is part of Microsoft’s commitment to be carbon negative by 2030 and to support the development of a market for green building materials. The tech giant has invested in Partanna through its $1bn Climate Innovation Fund, which aims to accelerate solutions for decarbonising concrete, steel, and other sectors.


Fix your Flop!

We all love flip flops, they are comfortable, affordable and generally durable. However, that’s also a big part of the problem, when they are discarded they don’t go away. Fix your Flop’s are proudly recyclable and contribute to the environment by minimizing the amount of plastic waste from humans. The majority of people would throw away their broken flip flops, as there was no lasting fix. Fix your Flop now has the solution to fix your broken flops. Simply screw onto the broken thong and fixed! Place the other Skrewitz on your key ring for any future blowouts for you or a friend! https://fixyourflop.com/


Thank you for reading our monthly newsletter! Please share this with like-minded friends or join our conversations on Facebook and Instagram.WHO ARE MYCELIUM?

Mycelium Media Colab is a co-operative of multimedia creatives and regenerators working together towards a healthy and sustainable world. We’re a collaborative enterprise with a strong focus on communication for change, producing compelling content and experiences that shift people’s mindsets.

We collaborate with academics, activists, dreamers, big thinkers, movers & shakers, and those who want to grow a regenerative world. Bringing together the talents, skills, resources and energy of multimedia creatives, we offer a networking, support and income-generation platform for members and affiliates. We develop and implement our own initiatives, and provide a range of professional services.

Membership to the Mycelium Media Colab is open to multimedia storytellers, artists and regenerators that share our vision collaborative and transformative change. It offers a networking and support space for members to share skills and inspiration, and creatively cross-pollinate, as well as a platform and organisational structure for projects that require a team.  Ownership of projects is shared between the creators and the co-operative. Contact info@myceliumcolab.com for more information and visit https://myceliumcolab.com/