Jesse Blackadder & Carol Birrell

Australia
February, 2015

Dr Jesse Blackadder is a previous Island Institute Fellow (from 2007). She is an author of award-winning adult and children’s novels with environmental themes, and an environmental journalist. Dr Carol Birrell is an academic, writer and environmental artist from the university of Western Sydney.

Jesse and Carol have a lifelong connection of bloodlines and passionate interests – Carol is Jesse’s aunt, and they have shared years of deep conversations about their work. Their overlapping areas of interest include sense of place, ecological writing, indigenous studies, and human-non-human relationships. They are both graduates in the discipline of Social Ecology from the University of Western Sydney, and they express their passions through different creative forms including storytelling, fiction and non-fiction writing, photography, visual and land-based art.

Carol and Jesse’s month long program  – From the Desert to the Sea – includes both individual and collaboratory components. Much of their collaboration will focus on their offerings to the Sitka community, which include a number of talks and events, particularly focusing on:

  • Whale Dreams workshop for children: A half day story-telling, drama, art and writing workshop for children 7-12 years old
  • Imaginal landscapes workshop for adults: A one day creativity workshop that provides participants with creative tools for exploring and understanding environmental issues and for linking them with their own experience.

They will also be participating in the Sitka Story Lab.

Carol and Jesse are excited about meeting the local community.