Mon Feb 7 14:00

Esmeralda och Draken

A Theatre Performance for children

By Our Story

Esmeralda och Draken (in Swedish with English subtitles) is a video documentation of a theatre performance for children, and on children’s terms addresses issues of sustainable development, Agenda 2030 and the UN Global Goals.

With this theater performance, we call for more attention to the role of storytelling in environmental communication. The problems and pitfalls in communicating global environmental and sustainability issues to local practices are well known to the community of environmental communication and humanity scholars. Communicative challenges are associated with e.g. invisibility of causes lack of immediacy and direct experience of the impacts, complexity and uncertainty, but may equally apply to the communication process as it is shown that audiences often, due to the gap between environmental information and everyday life experiences, often judge environmental information to be of low credibility. This performance and book build on new directions and insights in the research field of environmental and sustainability engagement, pinpointing the need for more meaningful ways of public engagement in which individuals’ life-stories, narratives, values and preferences are at the core. Based on an analysis of sustainability theatre for early years, this paper suggests:

  • Narratives and sustainability storytelling have the potential to address global matters and thereby overcome the many challenges traditional science and environmental communication face.

  • As for this study, the performer, a fictional character, and young children jointly shape and circulate various solutions on how to access food (SDG 1 and SDG 2),

  • And secondly, the performer, the fictional and non-human character of the theatre play – the Dragon- emotionally engage children in SDG 14 on biodiversity. While bringing emotions to environmental communication, it also addresses non-human perspectives in interactive theatre for early years

  • Hence, to rethink borders and boundaries and go beyond the global/local dichotomy in communication studies, fictional elements seem to reason with the audience of six´s and thereby empirically contributing to the assumption that narratives and storytelling have the potential to illuminate new issues and insights regarding climatic and environmental change.



FEBRUARY 7–11 • 2022


Presented by the SeedBox