‘What were you doing while the planet was burning?’
This is the question posed by The Hottest August, offering fascinating perspectives from a broad range of everyday New Yorkers – from the optimists to deniers, through to the futurists.
Billed as the ‘Humans of New York’ approach to a climate change filmmaking, The Hottest August explores the different ways people respond to living in the age of climate anxiety, confronted by an endless stream of dire statistics, terrifying images and a ticking clock.
Filmed every day over the course of a month, this film captures lived realities – job insecurity, racialised violence, gentrification, disaster recovery, fears of technology – all compounding and compounded by how we deal with the rapidly changing world around us.
Presented as a poetic artefact, The Hottest August offers a refreshingly lucid look at the backdrop to our ecological crisis.
As hypnotically beautiful as it is haunting, this film is about our future from the perspective of the present.
This film will screen with a short film made by Community Grocers thanks to EFFA's Community Storytelling Project, made possible with the support of Bank Australia.
Mark Spencer - Founder and Journalist, Climatic Podcast
This session will be hosted by Mark Spencer, the founder of Climactic, a podcasting collective dedicated to telling stories from the climate community. Mark has worked a wide variety of jobs and lived in many places, including the US, NZ, China and the UK, before settling permanently in Melbourne. Climate change has become his main interest, and through Climactic and other projects he seeks to engage more people in this greatest test of humanity.
Lesley Head - Head of School of Geography, University of Melbourne
Professor Lesley Head is Head of the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on the cultural dimensions of environmental issues, including climate change. Her most recent book is Hope and Grief in the Anthropocene (Routledge 2016).
Lauren Rickards - Associate Professor, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
Lauren Rickards is an Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University where she co-leads the Climate Change Transformations research program in the Centre for Urban Research. Lauren is a Lead Author in Working Group 2 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation, and her works focuses on the social and cultural dimensions of responding to climate change.
Dr Benjamin Henley - Research Fellow at University of Melbourne, Lecturer at Monash University and an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes
Benjamin’s research includes the climate of the past 2000 years, evaluation of climate models, and the context and impacts of anthropogenic climate change.