Storytelling with a photo walk

Photography fascinates me as another way of telling stories. What does the photo mean to the photographer and what does it mean to the person who perceives it. The convenience of my iPhone overrides my efforts to learn how to use a “real camera”. Therefore, my photos tend to be stories of the moment shared on social media through the convenience of iPhone apps.

My “real camera” learning comes from Wikimedia Denmark expeditions to places that need photo documentation or from a friend who says “let’s walk around somewhere and take photos”. That is what happened today, and that friend blogged about our photo adventures for your reading pleasure so that I can take the easy way out and just link to his blog post!

After about an hour of freezing for the sake of photography, we found a warm café where we could discuss taking pictures, blogging, and the effort of sharing those photos and blog thoughts in a timely fashion. 🙂

Here are a few of my favourite photos from today. Click the photos to go to their Flickr page, or use this link to go to my album of today’s photos.

View of the Copenhagen harbour from the ramparts

Black-and-white photo of the reflections of the trees on the water in the moat.

Capturing the symmetry of the red-washed brick buildings inside Kastellet

The fierce urgency of now – COP15

Snow falls on the streets of Copenhagen tonight bringing a gentle quiet to the city. I also think Mother Nature is reminding the leaders at the Copenhagen Climate Conference that she is ultimately in charge.

The past eight days have been a whirlwind of activity in the city for the thousands of people involved in the climate conference. I have been at the reception area of Tck Tck Tck‘s Fresh Air Center in “Huset”. Between my volunteer work and the overwhelming amount of information pouring in all the time, I only manage tweets and a few photos.

The real story is the people at this conference.

I am humbled and awed by the people I meet each day. Their dedication and passion for raising awareness about climate-change issues is inspiring. Their stories also strike some fear and worry in my heart. It’s not the stories of science that worry me. It’s the stories about the climate issues that are causing catastrophic changes in the lives of ordinary people.

Didn’t school teach you that for every action there is a reaction? Didn’t your parents teach you that your actions have consequences? We are seeing the reaction to – and consequences of – years of an unfair distribution of resources.

I will not go into the science now – I ‘m tired and don’t know it all by heart.

I am writing to urge everyone to let your government know that we are not served by “deals” at the climate conference. Only a real deal will do, and no deal is better than a bad deal. Kumi Naidoo, the International Executive Director of Greenpeace, wrote an open letter to President Obama. I encourage you to copy his idea.

Naidoo’s closing paragraphs resonate with me:

Sadly, according to the science the urgency of now has become even more fierce. I humbly appeal to you to reject the voices of short-term interest, of political expediency and of compromise.

Listen instead to the call of history. Listen to the voices of those most at threat. Listen to the voices of future generations, of our children and grandchildren. Of your children. Of your grandchildren, as yet unborn. Then, please, take the action that you know is needed.

We cannot continue to abuse our home, this planet. Living in the so-called global village now means we know real people in all corners of the world. When we see news coverage of natural disasters, it is very likely that we know someone affected by that event. After meeting so many new faces during the climate conference, we will know many more. The stories will not disappear when we turn off the television news. We are connected, and our abuse of resources will have consequences that will hurt us.

Speak up if you care about human decency – your voice is important. Monitor news about events in Copenhagen and the stories from around the world at Tck Tck Tck. Read and share! NOW!

(PS “The fierce urgency of now” is a Martin Luther King phrase that Kumi Naidoo used in his letter. I liked it for the blog post title.)

COP15, or What I am Doing in December

I took a challenge and signed up to blog during the Climate Conference in Copenhagen from the 7th to 18th of December. When I signed up and said I was a local, they asked if I’d mind helping out at the center. I said yes.

Practical details aren’t finalized yet, but the Fresh Air Center pages can give you an idea of the project. This quote sums it up nicely, too.

TckTckTck is convening a rapid response digital media hub in Copenhagen for top global bloggers and digital campaigners. Our goal is to help civil society define the narratives coming from COP-15, align our messages and actions to emerging strategic priorities, encourage sharing and collaboration, and break through the noise by connecting powerful NGO, blogger, and independent digital media channels together.

The “helping civil society” appeals to my communicator heart. I love the idea of helping to communicate important issues in society – politics, science, and so on – so that everyone can have a chance to understand what is going on and to participate.

If this appeals to you, too, use the sign-up link on the Fresh Air Center pages.

(Poor blog. You’ve been sleeping so nicely, and now I come and do this to you. 🙂 It’s for a very good cause called Earth.)

PS If you live in the greater Copenhagen area, people attending the conference need a place to stay. Hotels are booked up. Enrich your life: share a sofa and get to meet one of the COP15 attendees. Sign up at New Life Copenhagen.