Story+ 2022 | Art as Relation and Repair Across Disabled Ecologies and Histories

Story+ 2022 | Art as Relation and Repair Across Disabled Ecologies and Histories

If we understand that “carbon” is only a symptom of the ecological crisis whose root cause is the broken relations between people, the earth, and each other, what stories and histories do we need to tell and illuminate, so that we can imagine ourselves into the future, living otherwise? This student Story+ team, Art as Relation and Repair Across Disabled Ecologies and Histories, searched for how to tell stories of deforestation across the United States as interwoven with the ongoing violence of settler colonialism, while centering environmental and disability justice. The team created a digital story-map that begins to tell these stories to a broader public. They also spent time in local forests (including Duke Forest) with a leading historic-tree arborist in order to have learned from, and with, the land. The research accomplished in Story+ supports the development of a multi-year project of large-scale artistic installations that will tour to endangered forests across the country, and internationally.

Learn more about the long-term project through this article, “Animate Earth,” from the Winter 2021 issue of Orion Magazine, a publication focused on environmental and social justice:

Project Sponsor(s):

• Marina Tsaplina, Artist; Kienle Scholar in Medical Humanities

• Kevin Caves, Clinical Associate in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences; Clinical Associate in the Department of Medicine, Instructor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

• Jules Odendahl-James, Dramaturg; Director of Academic Engagement, Arts & Humanities; Co-Director of Story+

Graduate Mentor(s): Jessica Orzulak, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History

Undergraduates: Jaiyin (Joy) Liu, Kaley Sperling, Huiyin Zhou

Story+ is a 6-week summer research experience for Duke undergraduates interested in exploring humanities research approaches (archival research, oral histories, narrative analysis, visual analysis, and more). The program combines research with an emphasis on storytelling for different public audiences. In Story+, students are organized into small project teams and have the opportunity to participate in a flexible mini “curriculum” on research methods and storytelling strategies. Team projects may be led by Duke faculty, Duke librarians, or non-profit organizations, and will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by graduate student mentors.