‘I don’t think you’ll find very much...it’s all about animals at that age’: anticipating children’s action on climate change

In this post Melissa Nolas, co-director of Childhood Publics research programme, reflects on childhood, animals, and nature, and what children's photographs and experiences from the ERC Connectors Study tell us about these themes, which might provide one way of understanding children's action on climate change. 

  This Friday, March 15, the next global march for climate change is taking place: it is a strike by school children who are protesting over lack of action on climate change. The strike, and accompanying protests, have become an international social movement with weekly and monthly marches, as well as other more ad hoc events. Our colleague, and Childhood Publics Network Member, Catherine Walker has written about the various ambivalences involved in the current discussions on climate change and youth, as well as young people’s actions. In popular discussions about climate change in the press and the media, children, Catherine argues, are variously positioned as victims, saviours, and villains. The educational expectations are that children (like adults) ought to change their environmental behaviours and/or that children need to get out more and be in nature. Catherine’s own research in India and England demonstrate how children’s lived experiences of nature, especially in cities, is much more complicated than that: encounters with nature are messy, and idealising both childhood and nature serves no one. In this post, and building on this idea of children's messy encounters with nature, I want to reflect on the children's climate change movement as that relates to our own research on the ERC Connectors Study.
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Activism on the edge of age

Activism on the edge of age was a two-day workshop funded through the ERC Connectors Study bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers working on activism broadly defined from the perspectives of ‘the everyday’ and the life course.

In Common

in common was a series of exhibitions held in London, Hyderabad and Athens showcasing the ERC Connectors Study findings through children’s photo/stories.

Making Connections

A series of free one-day workshops funded through the ERC Connectors Study for doctoral students, early career researchers and researchers in practice settings, to explore multimodal ethnography as a research method.