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Talks & Workshops: DocFest Exchange at Sheffield DocFest 2021

Text by CLOT Magazine

Sheffield DocFest is an international film and arts festival and marketplace that aims to spark imaginations and empower our capacity for change. Part of the Sheffield DocFest is the DocFest Exchange, a space for discussions and debates around the relationships between climate change and the health of human and non-human populations, with a  special focus this year on themes of symbiosis, inspired by the work of Lynn Margulis.

Curated by Jamie Allan, this year’s DocFest Exchange challenges how we see the world and invites us to inhabit perspectives beyond our own. Can we imagine the world through the eyes of an animal? Can we shift our perspective to the scale of a microbe? Can we understand life as a planetary-level phenomenon? 

On Jun2 12 at 12:00 (BST), they present the discussion Stories of Other Animals. What stories do we tell about other animals? The filmmakers, authors, academics and activists in this online discussion each ask in their own way how storytelling can help us empathise with a way of being that seems so different to our own.

With Victor Kossakovsy, director of GUNDA; Robin Petré, director of From the Wild Sea; Danielle Celermajer, writer, professor of sociology at the University of Sydney, research lead for the Multispecies Justice collective, and Pattrice Jones, ecofeminist writer, educator and activist and co-founder of VINE Sanctuary for farmed animals in Vermont, USA. 

And at 14:00 (BST),  we will join the panel discussion Who are ‘We’? Global & Local Visions with Malawian farmer and community activist Anita Chitaya, filmmaker and author Raj Patel, and director Marc Bauder explore our understanding of the global; and crisis with how we view the environmental crisis.

On June 13, 17:00 (BST), inspired by biologist Lynn Margulis you can join the conversation Learning How to Live Together: A Symbiotic Worldview with Suzanne Pierre, microbial ecologist, biogeochemist, and founder of the Critical Ecology Lab; Salome Rodeck, cultural and literary Scholar, a doctoral researcher with the project Symbiotic Worldview: Theories and Practices of Coexistence in the Anthropocene, and Yasmine Kumordzi, parasitologist, PhD student at Durham University and co-initiator of the Endosymbiotic Love project. 

All the discussions will be hosted on Zoom.

(Media courtesy of Sheffield DocFest)
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