Penn State's Center for the Performing Arts will be showing Water is Rising on November 8th. Water is Rising brings together thirty-six artist from the smallest countries in the world - Kiribati, Tokelau and Tuvalu (population 1000, 1,500 and 12,000 respectively). With elevations of only 2-3 meters above sea level, life on coral atolls requires a deep respect for the forces of nature. Their survival depends on communal values and cooperation; music and dance are a key to developing and expressing these values.
The synchrony and joy of group performance speaks to their collective solidarity, empathy, self confidence and self-awareness of these Pacific Islanders. Gracious gestures describe the abundance of their ocean; forceful movement shows the vitality of a seafaring life; and poems speak of a heroic past. As they tour the U.S. for the first time, these artists will share stories of atoll life amid climate change and rising sea waters.
Their world is threatened by climate change. As ice caps and glaciers melt and oceans rise because from more and warmer water, nations like Tuvalu and Maldives and their cultures in their homelands will probably disappear.
Following the film, a panel will discuss the film's meaning and ramifications. The panelists include Anne Clements from PSU School of Music, Jamison Colburn from Environmental Law and Policy, and former Sustainability Now guest Don Brown of the Rock Ethics Institute and blogger at Climate Ethics.