The Young Feminists for Climate Justice Storytelling Project - Maria
The Young Feminists for Climate Justice Storytelling Project aims to connect young feminists from all around the world, especially the global south, who work on climate justice. They share and highlight experiences, stories and perspectives of these young women. Maria Alejandra Escalante is one of the people who started the project a couple of years ago, during the COP21 in Paris, when she and other young feminists were struggling to put out their opinions within the women’s movement and within the climate movement. They started creating a space to come together and share their stories and those of other feminists, especially those of colour who did not feel represented in these spaces. They felt that there was a gap between these progressive spaces where particularly young people and people whose native language is not English felt secluded and marginalised. “We use the format of storytelling to create a space, where we are not necessarily bounded to reports or academic papers, even though this could be an option”. They use this tool to bridge the gap between young feminism and climate change activism.
Through difficult conversations about topics like race, discrimination and oppression a platform is created for people to heal together and to move forward. It can sometimes be challenging to walk this line. Through cross-regional community building, they aim to address and expose the experiences of these women, who have first hand experience with being a woman in the neo-liberalised capitalist patriarchy. In activism where logical and rational patterns are prioritised, people often do not or secondarily look at issues like self-care, connection with one another and community building. However, according to Maria Alejandra Escalante, these are essential tools for the change we are trying to achieve.
These stories take shape in written texts but also films, podcasts and physical storytelling events. This is all done in different languages. A struggle that this initiative faces is the fact there are already a lot of amazing movements across the world, but with the unequal access to technology, they often find it hard to connect these people both practically and conceptually.
The Young Feminists for Climate Justice Storytelling come from a point of gender and climate intersectionality, but they are in no way limited to these two axes. They prioritise inclusivity and move beyond sectorial thinking and stretches bonds between, for example, anti-racism, labour-rights and ability-movements. System change needs to be embodied and the barriers that separate us from each other need to be broken, according to Maria Alejandra Escalante part of The Young Feminists for Climate Justice Storytelling.