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Enduring Connections – Bath Spa University

Enduring Connections

Heritage, sustainable development, and climate change in Kiribati: finding enduring connections to carry us into the future.

Project background

The project is working to find ways of building sustainable communities on the island of Kiribati, where rapidly rising sea levels due to climate change are putting the lives of island residents at risk. The community-level programme will aim to combine artistic minds, heritage experts and the local community to find ways to preserve the local community through its loss.

With climate change posing the greatest risk to world heritage, the programme will aim to help preserve Kiribati's unique rich culture in a film, working with expert Natan Itonga; and will pose the question of what can be 'saved' from island nations like Kiribati in the face of catastrophic climate change? Furthermore, does the term 'sustainable development' have any meaning in this context?

Working through these ideas of loss through focusing on enduring connections to potentially lost physical and cultural objects, caring for our connections to the natural world, and accepting the moral connections between polluting countries and those affected, heritage is positioned as a pivotal element of understanding global challenges related to climate change.

Research outputs and feasability

Several case-study articles and pieces of writing have come out of this project. These can be found on the blog page of the project site:

  • We need to talk about Climate Change (Apr. 2017)
  • How Do We Talk About Climate Change? (Jun. 2017)
  • ‘Nothing comes through the letterbox on climate change’ (Jun. 2017)
  • Climate Change Facilitators Pack
  • Filmscreening at the Museum of World Culture (Mar. 2018)
  • THE ART OF LISTENING: making a difference through ‘Enduring Connections’ (Mar. 2018)
  • Kiribati case study: The role of religion (Nov. 2018)

Project team

  • Sara Penrhyn Jones, Bath Spa University
  • Dr Bryony Onciul, Exeter University
  • Dr Anna Woodham, Kings College London

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