The date was Friday 17th October 2014. 30 Pacific Warriors came from twelve countries and islands across the Pacific, equip with locally built canoes to block up the largest coal production port in the world, Newcastle, NSW (Australia).
Canoes vs. Coal represents an amazing opportunity I had with 350.org. It happened in a massive whirlwind. I was brought on as a last minute addition by the 350.org team to witness and document this life changing moment in history.
The Pacific Warriors were birthed by the one and only Aaron Packard, Oceania Region Coordinator for 350. In a bold fight against coal mining in Australia, 30 Pacific Warriors physically barricaded the open waters with nothing but themselves and their hand made canoes to stop coal ships leaving the Newcastle Port. With supporting friends and family nearby, the Pacific Warriors managed to stop ten out of the fourteen scheduled to leave that day.
The campaign was an ingenious idea created by 350.org. and was absolutely moving. In being able to capture all of the footage, and conduct interviews with the direct victims of climate change, we were able to tell a very real and human story about climate change and the demand for clean energy both nationally and globally.
Executive producing on the project and capturing sound and interviews on the day, it has been a tremendous challenge and opportunity. Needless to say, myself and 350 are delighted with our first efforts.
I was initially brought on to run a longer and more in-depth piece (approx. ten-fifteen minutes long); a documentary styled production that allowed for greater reflection and discussion. Days before the production the focus was slightly shifted. 350.org were keen to release their own 90 second ‘news clip’ of the day. They wanted to draw the size and the scale of the demonstration – and demonstrate how much worldly attention their day received by both the media outlets and general people across the world.
I am extremely passionate about this project, and it is definitely some of my best work in 2014.