David Bwakali at UBC on December 3rd (CANCELLED)

Note: this talk has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. The UBC Climate Partnership apologizes for any inconveniences caused.


O.K. I know that December 3rd is a monday, after classes are over, and you’re probably thinking mostly about exams and the like. But we happen to have a very interesting speaker at UBC, who will bring an African perspective to the climate change debate.

Anyway, his name is David Bwakali, and the details are as follows:

Mon, Dec 3, 12:30 pm – 1:30/2:00ish pm
(Michael Smith Building, Rm 101)
“Climate Tales From Africa – But Is The World Listening?”

Who is David?

Well, he’s got quite the impressive CV (at least in terms of the projects he’s been affiliated with), but basically:

He is the national coordinator of the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) in Kenya and serves on the regional steering committee of AYICC [1]. This all-[Africa] youth initiative was launched in Nairobi, during the twelfth Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To provide further visibility for climate change, he founded the Faces of Africa’s Climate and Environment (FACE). This is an initiative that equips young models and professionals to be the clear faces and articulate voices of Africa’s climate and environment.

In order to engage and mobilize more students, David is volunteering as the coordinator of the Kenya Solargen (Solar generation) project. Solar Generation is made up of young people from all over the world taking action against climate change and calling for a clean energy future. It was initiated by Greenpeace in 2003.

And there’s more.

Here’s breakdown of his recent talk in Saskachewan, which seems to mix in a variety of different media. I’m not sure if the talk here will follow the same format, but it certainly shows that he’s going to be interesting to say the least:


Climatales is a coinage of two words – climate and tales. It is a project that employs Africa’s nature, art and culture to tell the story of our climate and environment.

Climate Tales from Africa is a talk that will explore the impact of climate change at the grassroots level in Africa. It will also draw linkages between corporate action in the North and harvest fields in Africa; multi-lateral negotiations and local level realities; macro industrial action and micro health concerns; petro-dollars and bread on an African table.

In order to communicate vividly and effectively, the Climate Tales from Africa talk will utilise the following audio-visual means:
– Screening of 20 thirty-second long video spots of 20 Kenyans lamenting/singing/crying/thinking/talking about climate change. These video spots will be set in serene rural villages; on the shores of Lake Victoria; at the foot of Mt. Kenya; in the streets of Nairobi; on the shores of the Indian Ocean; in the Savannah terrain of Maasai Mara; in the narrow alleys of Kibera ghetto; in the rolling hills of the Rift Valley, amongst other real African settings.
– An open letter from the people of Kenya to the people of Canada. This open letter will comprise the thoughts, concerns, fears, hopes, urges, anticipations and recommendations of at least one thousand Kenyans whose signatures and addresses will be appended.
– Screening of two climate songs with distinct African beats.
– Screening of a dramatized climate poem.
– Screening of a documentary entitled, ‘Anga’s anger.’ Anga is Swahili for climate. The documentary will explore the wrath meted out by a changing climate on a hapless people.
– Photo slides of the ‘before and after the impact of climate change on diverse ecosystems.’

The Climate Tales from Africa talk will revolve around the following themes:

Harvest time is a very important time in Africa. It is the culmination of months of tilling, planting, weeding, pruning and tending. It is a time of joy and celebration. Unfortunately, erratic rainfall has resulted in increasingly low yields. Harvest climatales will spotlight the impact of climate change on the harvest of three villages.

Water is a precious, vital commodity. In Africa, water often conjures images of a woman gyrating down a narrow winding path downhill then back up balancing a pot on her head. Climate change induced water scarcity has often left this woman walk longer to get even less water.

Climate change is already causing a change for the worse in the health of people. Places that didn’t have the Malaria carrier mosquito are now hosting this deadly mosquito.

After all has been said and done, life must go on. The Climate Tales from Africa talk will conclude with both factual and envisioned answers to the following seven questions:
1. What is being done?
2. Why is it being done?
3. How is it being done?
4. What can be done?
5. Why should it be done?
6. Who should do it?
7. What are WE doing?

In any event, this should be a very interesting talk.

Hosted by the UBC Climate Partnership. (ubc.commonenergy.org)

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and boingboing.net. He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at popperfont.net.