Breaking the 4th Wall of Climate Migration

Our Project

Breaking the 4th Wall of Climate Migration was begun as a collaborative education initiative between TGP, Anywaa Survival Organization, and SOM-ACT 
  • to shed light on the devastating consequences of climate change on communities in the Horn of Africa in Scottish classrooms 
  • to help Somalilander and Anuak storytellers tell their own stories to a global audience
  • to raise critical public awareness of how stories are told and manipulated through difference digital formats 
 
These goals were accomplished through a series of education workshops carried out in Hargeisa (Somaliland), Ruiru and Kakuma (Kenya), and several secondary schools in Fife, Scotland. 

Anywaa Community Association Kenya

Our Approach

TGP and its partner organizations SOM-ACT and Anywaa Survival Organisation (ASO), in Somaliland and Ethiopia respectively, collected various multimedia resources – photos, audio, b-roll, and interviews with activists, government/non-government agency representatives, and residents of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugee camps – with the intention of:

  1. teaching students the insidious role of climate change as a threat multiplier to existing inequalities (i.e. instances of climate injustice)
  2. showing and connecting students with stories not just of despair but of how climate injustice is experienced, fought, and also adapted to.
  3. grounding students in a critical approach to storytelling that would allow them to consider questions such as: Is there such a thing as apolitical imagery? When does telling someone else’s story become unethical?


These were then developed into a 6-week workshop series for Scottish schools. While in Kenya and Somaliland we also gave media workshops.

Transparency Solutions and the Anywaa Community Association Kenya also helped us to organise our on-site work in Somaliland and Kenya, respectively. Examples of some of the materials collected can be seen below. 

 

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Going into Schools

Breaking the 4th Wall of Climate Migration was conducted over a series of six 90-minute workshops during six weeks in November and December 2019 at Madras College, Bell Baxter High School, and St Leonard’s School in Fife. Four teachers and an estimated 40 students participated in these workshops across the three schools either during lunch hours or after school:

  • Weeks 1 & 2: the students were able to engage with Ethiopian and Somalilander human rights activists either in person or via skype, who taught about the current situations of both countries.
  • Weeks 3 & 4, documentarians from Channel 4 and the New York Times workshopped critical digital storytelling with the pupils, often using their own work to show how digital stories are edited purposefully to induce particular emotions.
  • Weeks 5 & 6 were taught by TGP staff and focused on how students would produce their own digital stories and what it means to tell someone else’s story in ethical and accountable ways.

Kenya & Somaliland Media Workshops

We are strongly committed to forming equal and non-extractive partnerships. Whilst in Somaliland and Kenya, the Third Generation Project led a series of four media workshops, arranged by our partners Som-Act and ASO, to help develop the skills of young journalists and artists in Hargeisa, Somaliland as well as Kakuma and Ruiru, Kenya. With our partners and team members, which included two freelance journalists/documentarians, we led trainings on photography and videography skill development, digital and print storytelling, grant writing and CV-building. 

Next Steps

Several initiatives have since emerged from the Breaking the 4th Wall of Climate Migration workshop series: 
 
  • Climate Justice education development: TGP is working with Scotland’s Education Development Centres to develop practical climate justice educational materials to be used in Scottish secondary classrooms. TGP is also engaged with academic, community, and student organisations in Scotland to develop a national climate justice curriculum. 
  • Aamusnaan Maya ‘Silent No More’ Initiative (AMI): As a supporting partner, TGP is working with Som-Act and Transparency Solutions to analyze the public health conditions facing drought-displaced Somalilanders living outside of Hargeisa, Somaliland
  • As We Progress – Anywaa (AWPA): Out of the media workshops in Kakuma, Kenya, attendees started As We Progress to share resources and collaborate in producing digital stories of life in Kakuma Refugee Camp.
  • Juanita Barreto Monje, Emerging Researcher 2019 cohort, is developing a XYZ as part of her Master’s degree. 

Project Team

Bennett Collins
Deputy Director (TGP)

Ali Watson
Managing Director (TGP)

Yahye Xanas (SOM-ACT)

Ojunni Ochalla (Anuak community Association of Kenya)

Nyikaw Ochalla (ASO)

Alice Rowsome (freelance journalist)

Sam Wolson (freelance journalist)

Tina Jefcoat (media consultant)

Project Funder

Breaking the 4th Wall of Climate Migration is funded by the National Geographic society. The media workshops we completed in Somaliland and Kenya were separately funded by Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 

News Coverage of Breaking the 4th Wall