To recover from the terrible wildfires and their trauma, Australia’s solution to “ecological grief” is to bring together choirs of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to keep Indigenous culture alive and advocate for solutions to climate change. They come together in Yarramundi, which means storyteller in Darug, a place of gathering, teaching and storytelling.
One of my beloved students, Graham Starsage, brilliantly defended his thesis this past Friday. One of his key research findings was the importance of celebration to reinforce normative changes that people are trying to make to live more sustainable lives. In the doom and gloom environmental stories of the past, we have forgotten how important empowering agency, action reinforced by joy and celebration.
Imagine if we used our green spaces in urban centres for cultural celebrations and for Indigenous choirs, storytelling for reconciliation between people and reconnection to the history of our places.