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  • Writer's picturerobsonangela

A Tale of Two Cities

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Art and ecology residency for film and multi-media project about environmental regeneration in the UK and Ethiopia.

Sally Hyslop from the Don Catchment Rivers Trust in Bentley, Doncaster, with volunteers clearing rubbish from a small tributary which flows into the River Don.

Angela is honoured to have been awarded an arts and ecology grant, together with film maker, Brigitte Perenyi to develop a film and multi media project in Doncaster, UK and Awassa, Ethiopia.

'A Tale of Two Cities' will profile the work of the Don Catchment Rivers Trust, which is committed to protecting and rehabilitating the rivers in the River Don catchment area in Yorkshire. Angela and Brigitte will also be working with the NGO, Partners for Change Ethiopia (PFCE) on a project centred around Lake Awassa, in the Great Rift Valley.

"We are thrilled that our project has been chosen for this important grant from the arts organisation Doncaster Creates," said Brigitte, an award-winning director, producer and story-teller, originally from Togo, who has spent the last six months based in Doncaster.

"It will allow us to develop a truly innovative project in two countries affected by climate change, focusing on local communities and activists taking the lead in developing solutions. Our aim is to allow their stories to shape the narrative of the filming."

Rewilding the System is a creative arts laboratory programme for five artists, experimenters and environmental scientists. It will culminate in a development lab at Doncaster's Artbomb Festival in August 2022.

Brigitte Perenyi helping the Don Catchment Rivers Trust clear rubbish from a waterway.

Brigitte and Angela have already started collaborating with the Don Catchment Rivers Trust. In late April they took part in a river clean-up project in Bentley, Doncaster - a community which experienced severe flooding in 2019.

They have also visited one of the trust's flood prevention projects in Moss Valley, Sheffield, where Don Catchment are creating 'leaky dams'. These are made of natural wood materials, placed in streams and ditches, to reduce downstream flooding.

Tackling flooding by the creation of 'leaky dams' in the Moss Valley, Sheffield.

In the second stage of their project, Brigitte will travel to the Horn of Africa to meet Partners for Change Ethiopia, who have been working on an initiative to prevent the pollution of Lake Awassa and re-afforest the mountains above the city.

Lake Awassa is one of Ethiopia's most wildlife-rich lakes, home to a wide variety of water birds and hippos. It is fringed by wetlands and woodlands which provide a habitat for species such as the red-throated wryneck and the vervet monkey.

Pollution from untreated wastewater from domestic and industrial sources has become a serious concern.

Angela Robson in Bahir Dar, northern Ethiopia, 2017, filming with Partners for Change.

One of the key aims of A Tale of Two Cities is for community members and activists in Doncaster and Awassa to share stories digitally about the impact of climate change and to hear from one other about the solutions they are coming up with.

"There is so much depressing news about the climate," says Angela. "We are keen to profile the stories of local people creating the solutions themselves and show that everyone can play a role in protecting our planet."

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