Stories of humanity and history are what keep us evolving, and so there shouldn't be an economic barrier to participating in creativity or storytelling. But sometimes for pitching film or photo projects, funding public art installations, or working on impact-driven campaigns, having a visual pitch document that can help garner support is the biggest hurdle. Graphic design software is expensive and being able to pay someone to do it for you isn't always an option. While spending this last week with the inspiring people who created and developed @lightroom and the Lightroom Mobile products like Spark Pages (which are free apps to download!), I've learned how to edit photos at a professional level and create interactive digital documents and websites quickly from zee mobilephone. Hoping to soon share these tools in media workshops for youth who are self-publishing magazines and photojournalism pieces to affect needed change in their communities!! Best damn #sponsored trip I've ever taken, srrsly. #BecauseAvaGardner#Room412#beboundless@adobe@joshhaftel@bryanoneilhughes@lightroom
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Dawn patrol fisherman, Havana Cuba
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I wanna give a shout out to my friends 'Magical Blue Pools' for helping me temporarily forget the terror or falling into the woman-eating crevasse abyss to the left and right of where I stand. #distractionisbliss#friendsforkeeps@thenorthface
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"People don't want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown." Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor #saltflats
FINAL DAY! Public commenting is one of the most important ways to participate in democracy. And who doesn't love writing someone a strongly worded letter!!! Whatever you believe about how our public lands should be used, I encourage you to write to Zinke. **I firmly support protecting the 27 National Monuments up for reconsideration - the potential loss of protection could limit our shared ability to enjoy these places and destroy tribal cultural sites, all for the temporary profit of a few. The link in my profile is an easy way to voice your desire to protect them as well. #protectbearsears#balooandtheswamp#takeahardlook
In my defense, it was a full moon and I was left unsupervised. ~ [underwater dancing for photographer @jillianhaney]
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"I've only ever been sure of two things. Gravity, because I havnt fallen into the sky yet. HA! And being able to know what exactly your blessings are and why it's important to remember. I'm not saying give God a big ego "oh god thank you for EVERYTHING la ti da the sky the wind the butterflies" No. No no no, then he would get a big head and create another parallel universe full of us and we don't need another one still working ourselves out here just fine. But I know how to be grateful for the things that have come my way and not take them for granted. I know how to survive. I lost my husband and my daughter. My house to a fire that's why my arms are burned but that happened later. The homeless community is full of crazies who will argue about whether the grass is purple or blue but they are my family. I like the open space of this park and that they let us stay here, especially with the shade, is it 130 degrees today? I'd rather be out here than at the shelter. I'm happy enough. I'm surviving." -Glenda. #4thofjuly#americandream#friendship
The mountain behind tiny @freddiewilkinson is The Stump, its darker summit peaking just out of the clouds. This "warm up rock" is one of the smallest in the range at 2,000 ft tall. To make use of an iffy-but-doable weather window, @renan_ozturk put up his third FA on The Stump, a steep chossy horrible route that no one had ever tried and will likely never be repeated. @alexhonnold and Freddie have dubbed Renan #thestumprider. Just my kind of superhero ; ) ~
Sleet rain streaked across the windows of our plane as we flew into the Ruth Gorge of Alaska's mountainous wilderness. Freddie and Renan with their beaming perma-smiles and frantic clicking cameras. Alex, observing the granite formations with a weary skepticism - "thousands of vertical feet of choss and shit rock... great." Rudy up with the pilot talking shop. But the glacier wasn't firm enough to land the plane where we needed to go. The top snow layers were nothing but blue slush, hanging seracs and mini avalanches breaking hourly, so we were dropped off 5 miles higher up and began the trudge across deep and complex cevasse fields toward our base camp. @talkeetnaair@renan_ozturk@alexhonnold@email@example.com@thenorthface#thegreatgorge
Paul Simon's 1990 album "Rhythm of the Saints" is all I want to listen to right now. ~
My mom cryptically told me today via text "come back stronger." I wondered if she meant, "If you die, come back stronger." Umm... in my next life time? Ok Mom... Maybe she meant from Alaska even though I hadn't told her yet. Tomorrow we go to Alaska. With her I never know and I like it that way. ~
Mountains are the magnets that draw my body to scrape against sharp edges in order to grow. @jenpeedom And #RichardTognetti just wrapped their edit on an orchestral poetic homage to mountains. They say it best. Watch the trailer (link in profile).
Hats off to the ones on this earth who redefine what is humanly possible to do in one lifetime. With our brains, our bodies, our civic and ecological engagement. @alexhonnold, I'm so proud of what you stand for. Also you're a damn good and loving friend to others even if they have green hair and might be part alien, so that's cool too [Alex and @jaredleto, shot on location for #GreatWideOpen]
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Women move mountains. This is @lksanchez32, in high contrast. Roughly 24 hours before this photo was taken, she was in DC negotiating the details of Paris Agreement on behalf of the US State Department. The year before, she worked in Dubai on large scale renewable energy diplomacy. Here she oversees my breakfast cooking in costume - because when else can you except in Indian Creek (!!! #protectbearsears). Lauren's years living in DC and Dubai trained her for the climate change battle, but her heart needs sweaty bruise-inducing exploration and strong companionship - like all of ours. •
A few times a year, I meet in the mountains or the desert with my wolf pack - Lauren (this here global energy ambassador), @rbkrvl who is coordinating collaborative flash-mob performance art pieces in India to help engage the most vulnerable populations about heat stroke risks while she simultaneously holds down a job for the World Bank in climate change adaptation. @katuddenham (walking up in the middle of his photo) re-writes narratives of the West as the executive director of a Colorado organization that balances wilderness conservation, local indigenous rights, rural economies, and extractive industries. #jojo, our Instagramless leader, added Law and Business degrees atop her environmental science MA to better ninja a path forward for climate progress, and @dianamadson in Tahoe single handedly organized a national policy initiate (#themountainpact) addressing economic climate impacts on mountain towns across the nation who face watershed depletion, civil-infrastructure instability, wildfire risk, and dwindling jobs. I'm lucky to call these women my friends. They are fighting for climate justice in diverse arenas. We are extremely disappointed that the U.S is pulling out of the Paris Agreement but I know there's an undercurrent of momentum that won't be stopped. Progress is happening. @yalefes (SURVEY LINK IN PROFILE)
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This week I've been in Northern California exploring stories about Native American food sovereignty with director @mrsanjayr and journalist @missmonet for an upcoming film and mixed-media journalism project with the First Nations Development Institute. Pictured here are the Sammy Smokehouse Boys @firstname.lastname@example.org Peter and Keget from Requa and Klamath who drove hours down the coast to Ft Braggs to harvest abalone with their mentors @siixuutesna, Arianna and @coastymathanuuma. There aren't enough salmon in the Klamath, after commercial and sport fishing quotas, to support their tribe. I feel honored to be contributing to this project with a growing team of native and non-native creatives all working together to unbundle and share these stories. Thank you Hilary and everyone for the amazing dinner! [also - link in profile to a simple survey where we can kick off this forum on careers and impactful creativity!]
The red glow of our @freeflysystems#Alta8 drone lighting the way as we hovered close to our arctic surfer friends. Safety third, per usual, but pushing the limits of frozen limbs, ER visits, and late late nights always yields something special. Tonight at 7pm and 9:30pm are the SLC screenings of #underanarcticsky! @renan_ozturk@chrisburkard@sonyalpha@revo - Tickets still available, link in profile
Music and art are universal - able to transcend political, economic and geographical boundaries. So too is climate change, affecting every country and every community in connected but disproportionate ways. I feel so grateful to the @form@pathway2paris team for hosting our climate change program and dialogues on issues including social environmental justice, film and storytelling, art and cradle-to-cradle architecture, immersive music and sound experiences, and how we can access the hearts of people who know of but can't quite act upon the facts. This team was incredible - Mustafa Santiago Ali (who recently resigned from the EPA after decades of running their social justice branch), the @hiphopcaucus, @tibet_effect@michiganmanhattan@united_environment@themightyupsetter@prospektmiraorg@conpulsiv and David Garland. There are many pathways forward (never just one right answer!) and many entry points for getting involved. Also - Looking forward to posting a survey this week to collect email addresses from all those who want to work together based on my last post. @kendraroselyons@rbkrvl 🦎 #formarcosanti@arcosantiarizona
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10 years ago to the day (pictured here) I was a junior in college, studying biology at Penn State. Slowly drifting away from the rigors of hard science and into my love affair with adventure, humanities and story telling, I spent my free time in the campus green house dancing like a literal looney toon and studying plants with only my eyes, ears, nose and finger tips. It was the year I flunked all my science courses because I had added to my schedule "Race relations and dialogue" with Professor Sam Richards, "Peace Studies", Science Technology Religion and Society, and improv dance. I also made my first film which showed once and only once, at the public library to 4 people. Epic fail in the short run. Maybe an important step in the journey home. ~
Flash forward to today when I received a hand written letter from a young woman named Brooke, just out of college who seemed equally flustered yet curious and passionate about navigating her way through academia, writing, photojournalism and filmmaking, research, advocacy campaigns, and understanding the blurry lines we tread when doing work we hope is "meaningful" to the environment and to others. Took me back to the years I spent living in a truck and bartending to afford my blueberry addiction and first pair of climbing shoes, back to being 23 and excited to find my path. Brooke, by the way, I don't have any good answers. The last decade has been a bumpy ride. I'm bruised and scarred and learning along the way. And reading this letter made me realize, maybe it would be helpful to other women too if I held an online club of some kind where we connected and all shared experiences and asked each other questions. Once a month? Online? How would I even do such a thing... open to ideas! #thisismybrainonnature#whataboutyours?
Dear desert wilderness, They don't love you like I love you. ~
Yesterday we went on a walk in the Uinta-Wasatch National Forest to some hot springs. On the way out, I couldn't walk. I had to run. I NEVER RUN. I sprinted till my heart burst. I left everyone in the group behind to run (without a headlamp) all the way down. Leaping over rocks, dodging trees, in the dark. It was the weirdest thing that's ever come over me. A desire to go as fast as I possibly could without any fear. ~
The news that Ueli's spirit flew out of the Nepal Himalaya is crushing for the whole community. What happened last night makes me wonder if Ueli flew through the earth, through other people and places. I'm not religious and my spiritual understanding is based in things I can see and sense. But I sensed something otherworldly. Thank you Ueli for showing us all just how boundless our human potential can be. You were the one who pushed further, faster, every time. @steckueli
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Coming into the desert (heaven, on earth) usually starts like this - Step 1) drive some form of automobile to a designated protected area. 2) Read the sign that shows you what you're about to enter - National Park, National Monument, Wildlife Refuge, etc... 3) THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS places like this still exist. Protected from extractive industries and development. Step 4) Enter. Play. LNT. Photograph. Be free. Be human. Or be a dancing alien weirdo who inevitably metamorphosizes back into an ecological being (no escaping this earthly truth, I promise). Whatever floats your boat. --- But hey, I acknowledge and try to see daily ways in which I depend on land that is developed (like my neighborhood), and land that is exploited for energy (since I turn my lights on with grid power). But we also need places like the untouched Utah desert. Intact ecosystems with wildlife corridors. We need Bears Ears. More than ever. #callcongress#protectbearsears#idoitwithyou
If you're like Baloo, staring into the abyss of reflection and wondering how your life may be impacted by climate change, rest assured it probably won't all that much. Maybe if you're a farmer or your business relies on global trade. The empathy I speak of isn't for willow trees or endangered desert lizards (even tho it's all quite connected). My heart is focused on how climate change is disproportionately affecting the world's poorest people with the most unstable governments. The current famine in north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen is directly caused by climate change, drought, armed conflict, and macro-economic collapse. Millions of people are starving and facing a crisis for survival most of us can't fathom. If you care about how we are implicated in this situation, you probably care because of other people. Nothing else matters as much, I believe.
Here, @forrestjillson has about 30 itty bitty (and fury) baby Whitebark Pine seedlings in his backpack. The most incredible tree in all the West that feeds birds, squirrels and grizzly bears and can thrive clinging to nothing but the cracks within a wall of granite rock. In this moment, we are planting them at 10,000 ft elevation in their natural habitat in @grandtetonnps with @treefighter@peytoncoppprati and friends. The white bark pine have been and continue to be devastated by beetle kill - a direct result of earlier Springs and fewer Fall frosts due to climate change. @treefighter lead this endeavor to help replant the forest but more so, in many ways, to get people out into the wilderness and thinking about the local impacts of climate change, feeling empowered to act, appreciating the ecosystem that is our home. I was reading two books at the time that shaped my understanding of why trees mattered. ~
The first was "Made for Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and Pines" by Roland Lanner. The second was The Lorax... Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
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Beneath nationality, identity, sub-culture or pop-culture or whatever, every single one of us are naked earthling animals. We are flesh and bones covered in sense receptors in an ecological community of shared resources and shared risks. We are capable of communicating with each other and making just about anything we can imagine. What does that process look like and what are we creating? ~
With the current and ongoing political battles around climate change, I feel like I'm in a cage fight with angry scared bears. Everyone has their claws out. People are grasping onto simple stances to support their world view and using these to battle each other instead of attempting to have an inclusive dialogue of diverging views. All the meanwhile, semantics and opinion-pieces about climate regulations don't make us feel any more connected to what we are actually talking about - This ocean of air that's in our nostrils right now, a swirling chemical soup that IS changing in its composition and in turn affecting our water access, weather patterns, food systems, infectious disease dynamics, and inciting violent conflicts over limiting resources. To which degree this is happening and who actually controls the power levels is definitely something not everyone agrees on but it's clear that this is a question of story. Science fiction maybe, since we are dealing with predictive scenarios. A science fiction movie that becomes reality.... moment by moment by moment. For the coming weeks I'd love to share some books, ideas, and resources on climate change and energy that I have found to be useful and hear from anyone who wants to share what has influenced them. ~ "It's all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The Old Story—the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it—is not functioning properly, and we have not learned the New Story... We need a story that will educate us, a story that will heal, guide and discipline us" - Thomas Berry [ by @renan_ozturk. Accidental encounters with the wild 🏽♀️]
Softly. Tread softly. (Said the cactus in my foot)
I often look at the raised white scars ripped across Renan's knees, the ones bitten into his flesh from the knife-blades of an 8-prop drone. I close my eyes and feel the numbness still pervading my feet, latent nerve damage and frost bite from standing jaw-dropped in awe, hours upon hours, as northern lights illuminated the curling waves and frigid surfers. How cold my finger tips felt on the metal shutter button. Holding steadfast. Discomfort tears the seams in us that need to expand so we don't shrivel in spirit in the same form year after year. The experience of filming 'Under the Arctic Sky' gave me night vision and tougher skin. Lifelong friendships with the surfers and their icicle frosted faces, with the film crew as we stayed up all hours of the night repairing our broken cameras. @chrisburkard and @sweatpantsmedia team, so proud of your acceptance into Tribecca! See you at the premiere : ) Check out the kickstarter which supports screenings in cities around the country! @timmyreyes@heidarlogi@ellithor@jquinny@arcticsurfers@renan_ozturk@russell_holliday#underanarcticsky