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Open AccessArticle

Visual Storytelling, Intergenerational Environmental Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty: Exploring Images and Stories amid a Contested Oil Pipeline Project

1
School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LD Edinburgh, UK
2
Tsleil-Waututh Nation, 3178 Alder Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7H 2V6, Canada
3
Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
4
Ravenchild Consulting, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1B3, Canada
5
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072362
Received: 1 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 31 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health and Well-Being of Indigenous People)
Visual practices of representing fossil fuel projects are entangled in diverse values and relations that often go underexplored. In Canada, visual media campaigns to aggressively push forward the fossil fuel industry not only relegate to obscurity indigenous values but mask evidence on health impacts as well as the aspirations of those most affected, including indigenous communities whose food sovereignty and stewardship relationship to the land continues to be affronted by oil pipeline expansion. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, based at the terminal of the Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada, has been at the forefront of struggles against the pipeline expansion. Contributing to geographical, environmental studies, and public health research grappling with the performativity of images, this article explores stories conveying health, environmental, and intergenerational justice concerns on indigenous territory. Adapting photovoice techniques, elders and youth illustrated how the environment has changed over time; impacts on sovereignty—both food sovereignty and more broadly; concepts of health, well-being and deep cultural connection with water; and visions for future relationships. We explore the importance of an intergenerational lens of connectedness to nature and sustainability, discussing visual storytelling not just as visual counter-narrative (to neocolonial extractivism) but also as an invitation into fundamentally different ways of seeing and interacting. View Full-Text
Keywords: visual storytelling; photovoice; indigenous sovereignty; oil pipeline; Trans Mountain Pipeline; visual geography; environmental health visual storytelling; photovoice; indigenous sovereignty; oil pipeline; Trans Mountain Pipeline; visual geography; environmental health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Spiegel, S.J.; Thomas, S.; O’Neill, K.; Brondgeest, C.; Thomas, J.; Beltran, J.; Hunt, T.; Yassi, A. Visual Storytelling, Intergenerational Environmental Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty: Exploring Images and Stories amid a Contested Oil Pipeline Project. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072362

AMA Style

Spiegel SJ, Thomas S, O’Neill K, Brondgeest C, Thomas J, Beltran J, Hunt T, Yassi A. Visual Storytelling, Intergenerational Environmental Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty: Exploring Images and Stories amid a Contested Oil Pipeline Project. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(7):2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072362

Chicago/Turabian Style

Spiegel, Samuel J.; Thomas, Sarah; O’Neill, Kevin; Brondgeest, Cassandra; Thomas, Jen; Beltran, Jiovanni; Hunt, Terena; Yassi, Annalee. 2020. "Visual Storytelling, Intergenerational Environmental Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty: Exploring Images and Stories amid a Contested Oil Pipeline Project" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 7: 2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072362

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