Truth: we are facing global challenges on an unprecedented scale. As a seasoned reporter on United Nations negotiations in sustainable development, I was clear that now more than ever, there is a need for a global transformation. I began to wonder how to engage and mobilize each and every person to be a part of the solution. In a crystal moment of clarity, I knew a way forward.
For people to believe in what they could not see, it is the artists and musicians who lured faith by creating bodies of work that were beautiful, engaging and inspired a connection. As I learned from studying the ancient art of hula dance from Hawai’i, important information can be delivered on the wings of beauty. Hula attracts the viewer because the dance is beautiful, and simultaneously informs specific details related to environmental information, history and value systems. This layered approach is the inspiration for creating Evidence of Hope.
Evidence of Hope is a series of short films that use positive storytelling to show what sustainability looks like, what is working and how it is working. Our world is full of people who are able to look directly in the eye of global challenges, and then create solutions, beautiful solutions.
The first short film released in the series is Evidence of Hope: Yaeda Valley, which shares the inspiring story of the Hadzabe people. The Hadzabe are one of the oldest living Indigenous cultures. The photos in this gallery are from my experience with the Hadzabe in Tanzania, and aim to represent their unique relationship with their environment.
I was invited to Tanzania to learn how the Hadzabe had come to be one of the 2019 United Nations Equator Prize winners. Spending time in the bush with this community revealed so much beauty to me. The community welcomed me with open arms and, as we shared stories, music and food, I began to feel that I was a true friend of the Hadzabe.
The Hadzabe community won the Equator Prize because they hold a clear vision of what is possible when traditional Indigenous knowledge is linked with modern technology, creating a new economy. Although they are one of the world’s oldest living indigenous communities, they have become leaders in innovative climate technology.
The Hadzabe are truly successful: deforestation in their territory is occurring 20 times slower than in the surrounding areas/wider region. The Hadzabe have found a way to live their traditional lifestyle, protect their forests and provide benefits to every person in the world. This is Evidence of Hope!