ART AND DOCUMENTARIES IN CLIMATE COMMUNICATION
EXPERIENCING THE REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND LEADING THE WAY TO CHANGE
Keywords:visual art, focus groups, climate change, thematic analysis, documentaries
The purpose of this study was to explore which principles or characteristics of visual forms of climate communication have the potential to increase their perceived effectiveness in terms of triggering climate concern and engagement. This article details the results of a case study based on an art exhibition and a shortened documentary with the topic earth/soil. Two focus group discussions were conducted in Brighton (UK) with a total of 20 participants who had seen both the documentary and the artwork. The transcripts of these focus groups were thematically analyzed to establish categories, themes, and subthemes from the data. Results show that art as well as documentaries have the potential to be an effective medium to convey climate change to audiences. Art may speak to the audience on a different (i.e. emotional rather than cognitive) level than documentaries, and therefore could be a helpful way to introduce the subject to an audience that may not yet be overly familiar with climate change. To further encourage behavior change, a solution should be presented that is novel, relatively easy to implement and impactful.
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