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Mainstream, art, writing and conservation

I was losing my conservation way slightly, now back on track thanks to Packham, Deller and Monbiot.

I must admit that in June 2015 I was kind of losing my way. Still conservation was my thing but I’d started to forget why I had left a well-paid job and why I chose to mostly go without. I had reminded myself that I had left the job as I found doing an almost pointless job just for the money was not fulfilling me. I really wanted to ‘do my bit’ and make a difference, at least, I had to try. Then I get to 2015 towards the end of my access course and am writing something artistic for the final extended writing project. It had my desires in there which was to address nature and landscape mixed in with human emotion.

The idea of doing this course is to go to University and study Creative and Professional writing. I feel that I want to use my writing to carry on trying to spread the word of conservation. But somewhere along the line I had almost started to forget why I was going without, why I didn’t want ‘stuff’.

Then I saw a programme with Chris Packham called Chris Packham's Natural Selection. Like most of us, I suppose, I’d got used to Chris being mainstream and, not so much discounted him, but failed to realise he is ‘on our side’ for conservation. This programme was much more intellectual than his usual programmes like Springwatch. His guests were Jeremy Deller and George Monbiot, two of his heroes. They talked of art, writing and the mainstream, all working towards the one aim of conservation and doing one’s bit.

Jeremy Deller’s art was shown and how he is using it to spread the message, the Hen Harrier picture, his obsession with bats, and not to mention the miner’s strike re-creation! Also shown was George Monbiot’s footage about re-introducing wolves to Yellowstone Park and how it changed the ecosystem for the better. He also talked of the fact that Western populations of plateaued and it is not so much the burgeoning population that is the problem of our consumption. The Western world is still consuming at a greater and great rate. Whereas in poor counties they may have bigger families but still have very little. This rang so true with me having lived in Asia and learnt how to live simply.

They talked of special moments with animals. That ‘certain moment’, this is what I had with the Snow Leopards in Darjeeling. This, I found out, was my happy place in life. A time when it was just me and no people at the Snow Leopard sanctuary with the almost wild Snow Leopards on the edge of the Himalayas.

I was greatly heartened by this programme as I heard these men talking the right language that I haven’t heard for so long. When I did a conference call with Twitter to appraise their software the woman didn’t even know what conservation was! I felt despair. I know it isn’t a hot topic, I only have to look at which of my own diverse online endeavours gets most notice, it isn’t conservation. However to see three people wanting to do their bit, trying to make a difference, made me feel so much better. That there is a place for the mainstream, art and writing in promoting conservation, all of which I am attempting to address in my own work.

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