A warning, a movement, a collection borne of protest.
In Watch Your Head, poems, stories, essays, and artwork sound the alarm on the present and future consequences of the climate emergency. Ice caps are melting, wildfires are raging, and species extinction is accelerating. Dire predictions about the climate emergency from scientists, Indigenous land and water defenders, and striking school children have mostly been ignored by the very institutions – government, education, industry, and media – with the power to do something about it.
Writers and artists confront colonization, racism, and the social inequalities that are endemic to the climate crisis. Here the imagination amplifies and humanizes the science. These works are impassioned, desperate, hopeful, healing, transformative, and radical.
This is a call to climate-justice action.
This anthology is not to be missed. The pandemic may have defined our year, but the climate crisis defines our time in geological history. See how this roster of talented writers and artists advance the conversation, put the crisis in context and call for climate justice.
View on CBC Gem (Closed Captioning Available)
Short, Lyrical, Dramatic Film
Millefiore Clarkes - Director / Emma Fugate - Producer
Solastalgia (/ˌsɒləˈstældʒə/) is a neologism that describes a form of mental or existential distress caused by environmental change.
When the panic over global crises threatens to engulf her, Ava embarks on a vision-quest to put things in perspective.
SOLASTALGIA is a lyrical film that explores the anguish that climate change and a global state of uncertainty can impart upon the human psyche.
Ava, (played by Rebecca Parent) a mother of two young children, is bombarded throughout her day with news of global disasters. Over the airwaves, on the internet, overheard at a grocery store - cataclysmic stories of the effects of climate change steadily erode Ava’s inner peace. She acutely feels the burden of guilt for her entire species. She worries about her children's futures. Her mental health is unwinding as she searches for solace and a new perspective.
This film is a dreamscape set to the formidable poetic verse of Tanya Davis (former poet-laureate of Halifax). It is a poetic gesture to the vast timeline of the earth and humanity's small but significant place within the web. SOLASTALGIA is a traditional drama that utilizes non-traditional, stock and archival sources for some of its imagery. It blends a straight-forward narrative with a surrealistic journey underpinned with a musical score by Philip Glass, Russell Louder and others.
Funded through FilmPEI Film4Ward program.
Millefiore Clarkes is an award-winning filmmaker from Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island. Through her company One Thousand Flowers Productions she produces a variety of media work: short and feature documentaries, music videos, drama, experimental shorts, and video installations. She recently received the DOC Institute’s Vanguard Award for her work as a documentarian. Her most recent work is a short lyrical, dramatic film SOLASTALGIA that explores the theme of climate grief. It won Best Canadian Short at the Silverwave Film Festival.
She has directed three documentaries for The National Film Board of Canada: THE SONG AND THE SORROW, BLUE RODEO - ON THE ROAD, and ISLAND GREEN. THE SONG AND THE SORROW won Best Short Atlantic Documentary at FIN - Atlantic International Film Fest, Best Documentary at Silverwave Film Festival, Best Atlantic Doc at Lunenburg Doc Fest, Best Mid Length Documentary at The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, and was a Top Ten Audience Choice at Available Light Film Festival.
Her films have screened at festivals across Canada and the US and have been broadcast on CBC and Bravo! Her experimental short December in Toronto is featured on Vimeo’s Staff Picks, and her music videos have won a number of awards.
She is passionate about making films that connect us to one another and to nature.
Plasticpoems, 2:28 minutes
Written by Fiona Tinwei Lam
Animation by Nhat Truong
Sound Design byTinjun Niu:
This short animated video depicts two concrete/visual poems by poet Fiona Tinwei Lam from her collection of poems Odes & Laments (Caitlin Press, 2019) about marine plastic pollution
Plasticnic, 1:13 minutes
Written/Narrated by Fiona Tinwei Lam
Animation by Tisha Deb Pillai
Sound Design byTinjun Niu:
A humorous animated video poem about plastic pollution that shows how we destroy nature while seeking to enjoy ourselves in the great outdoors.
The video poem is based on a shaped poem in Odes & Laments (Caitlin Press, 2019)
Note: all words come from letters in “plastic” with no doubling. Each shift occurs with the addition or removal of a single letter and/or a reordering of the letters.
"Quench" originally published in Odes & Laments, (Caitlin Press, 2019).
Fiona Tinwei Lam’s third collection of poetry Odes & Laments celebrates the overlooked wonder and beauty in the everyday, while lamenting harm to our ecosystems. She has also authored a children’s book, edited The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems on Facing Cancer, and co-edited Love Me True: Writers Reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups & Downs of Marriage with Jane Silcott. Lam won The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Prize and was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Her work appears in more than thirty-five anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English (both 2010 and 2020) and Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC. Her award-winning poetry videos have screened at festivals locally and internationally. She teaches at Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies. fionalam.net @FTinweiL
Watch Your Head is an online journal of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
New work is published monthly!
Check out our latest project: a print anthology published by Coach House Books!
Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis
Coach House Books