Watch a film about first and second gen immigrants fighting climate change

Ahead of the UK general election, Tanya Noushka’s short film spotlights the young people exploring the global effects of climate change

In this age of social media, it’s become impossible to remain ignorant to the effects that climate change is having on our planet. From videos of forest fires on Twitter to images of flood damage on Facebook, we are all watching the slow burn of our planet from the safety of our smartphones. Throughout the world, these types of natural disasters are becoming increasingly common, and not everyone is being affected in the same way. More often than not it is those in developing nations who feel the effects of climate change more keenly, and who will be left to deal with the consequences for years to come.

In The World is (Y)Ours, director Tanya Noushka addresses these issues by looking at climate change from the perspective of first and second generation immigrants in Britain, as she highlights how the actions of western countries are negatively affecting familial homes all over the world. In the film, we are introduced to a group of young people who each tell personal stories on how their ancestral homes are being affected by climate change. Take Bradley Zero, for example, a first generation Dominican, who talks about the devastation that Hurricane Maria caused to his homeland: “It just tore straight through the middle of the island,'' he explains. “Even the year after it was an imminent food crisis, you couldn’t get mangoes and this is one of the main exports. This is what is a lot of people’s livelihood.” Elsewhere, Michael Makonnen, a first generation Ethopian, shares a similar, personal story: “My uncle had a farm in Ethiopia,'' he shares. “The farming out there, they’ve had to change their crops all the time, it was too hot for the vegetables really to grow, and cost him a lot of money … he had to learn all new techniques” (sic).

The stories included in The World is (Y)Ours can be disheartening to listen to, but what the film offers is a clear route through which positive action can be taken in order to tackle climate change, and that route is voting in the upcoming general election. “We’re going to take action against climate change. We should definitely register to vote that’s a moral obligation,” says Ola Alatishe, a first generation Nigerian. It is in this way that The World is (Y)Ours can be seen as a rallying cry for generations of immigrants and POC.

This election is the first in which the issue of climate change has been taken seriously. The three main political parties have announced policies relating to climate change, with Labour making a green revolution key to its manifesto.

Narrator Louis VI puts it succinctly: “As British kids we are negatively affecting where we’re from. How we live, how we conduct ourselves, whether we vote, will and does affect the world. Because these places that are burning, these places that are flooding, these places that haven’t had a drop of rain to grow crops, these places are where we are from.”

Watch The World is (Y)Ours above.

Register here before midnight on November 26 to vote.

Full credits:
Contributors: Michael Makonnen - Chef, Habesha Kitchen Ltd Ola Alatishe - Brand Manager Bradley Zero - DJ / broadcaster ( rhythm section intl ) Mohammed Koubani - Student Samantha Moyo - Activist Crew: Nana Bempah - Executive Producer Tanya Noushka - Director Effie Theos - Producer Louis VI - Music/Writer and Narration/Creative Jamie Clark - Executive Producer Emory Ruegg - Executive Producer Deepa Keshvala - DOP Ben Fyfield - Camera Assistant Sofia Hamadache - Production Manager Lana Henry - Production Assistant Tom Newman @ Unit - Offline Editor Panos Kordas @ Unit - Sound Nick Dalby @ Unit - Grade Jamie Thomas @ Unit - Sound Design Isabella Wakley @ Unit - Post Production Producer Camille Brayer @ Direct Digital - Kit Hire - Camera Jody Winterbottom - Archive Footage Production: Pocc, My Accomplice Post: Unit Studios