Commissioned by Imove, The Second Breath was the beginnings of a promenade circus experience which resulted in a dance-night event (music by Kwah). The ambitious aim was to try and engage in new conversations about Climate Change and how it may be affecting people psychologically. Inspired by the fantastic research being carried out at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and within The Climate Psychology Alliance.
Aerialist Madelaine McGowan’s character (Vigilance) began the process representing all our hopes for positive outcomes of Climate Change. Not an easy thing to nail. In the end we built a monologue in which a woman loses her house through coastal erosion, all hope for her own future and realises that there is no they coming to rescue either her or anyone, so she can only get on with it herself. A simple conclusion, perhaps a simplistic one, and yet it felt like the only way that we could go when thinking of what individuals can do to respond to climate change. To Act. “With my house in amongst the waves were all my hopes. So I gave up hope. And this was boundless.”
Juggler Tom Hunt played a character whose name was Mud. He represented a youth whose concern for his environment had caused him to burn out, in a form of anticipated mourning. He is scared and paranoid and has removed himself from society. This was a difficult character to deal with without becoming desperately sad about how disconnected society is from the environment. Disengaged.
Jo Moss, Cyr Artist, played the denier. We called him Overlord and later changed this to Hom (Head of Manipulation). His monologue wrote itself, in as much as we hear denial and bluff so often I could have written pages… “It is not happening. And even if it was, which it isn’t, it is a good thing. It is not happening. And even if it was, which it isn’t, it is all hot air. It is not happening. And even if it was, it is the opposite. And it doesn’t matter. If it is happening, (which it isn’t) and it’s a good thing, then that is ok. There is nothing that can be done about it.”
The sketches in the background relate to a character drawn from Dave Eggers’ book, ‘Zeitoun‘, a true story about a man who got in his canoe when the floods hit New Orleans and went out helping people. With performer David Ford we wondered what might it be like if a man was essentially a good man, and his personal vocation was to do what is needed for others when it is needed? How might that impact on climate awareness if more people were like the good man Zeitoun?