Gaia the earth goddess goes digital

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Using viral music videos as inspiration, environmental group EarthLanka produces one of its own, ‘Make It Green Again’ to advocate sustainable living – Malaka Rodrigo
‘Kolawari de’ has become a runaway hit on the web, proof that music videos are popular among the youth. The British Council’s International Climate Champion Nilanke Panthiarachchi used this medium to spread the message on the need to protect the environment with their song ‘Make It Green Again.’
“Awareness on Sustainable Living using Digital Media’ was my theme,” says Nilanke, who was supported by fellow Climate Champions Sikander Sabeer, Anoka Abeyratne and Mohamed Huzni. The project was initiated by the EarthLanka network www.earthlanka.net.

Filming on the borders of Sinharaja Forest amidst rain and leeches

They first needed a good lyric, so they organized a lyrics competition, which helped to get others involved. From the entries received, the one sent by Y. A. Sriyani Yapa, an English teacher from Gampaha Bandaranayake College, was chosen as the best. Veteran musician Diliup Gabadamudalige stepped in to produce the song which was sung by Dimitri Gunathilake.

Filming the video posed the biggest challenge. Film locations included Athwelthota on the borders of Sinharaja rainforest, on the premises of the Ceylon Steel Corporation. Undergraduates of the faculty of University of Visual and Performing Arts supported the effort. The video was based on a simple concept.

The spirit of the earth – Gaia, the Earth Goddess in Greek mythology, returns to Earth to find all the greenery gone. The visuals end with the message to stop over-consumption and take steps to avoid ravaging the earth.

There was heavy rain when shooting began in a beautiful part of the forest in Baduraliya. The crew had to take extra precautions to protect the valuable camera equipment. The rain also aggravated another problem – the leeches.

“It was a great experience. We didn’t even have electricity in that part of remote wilderness. It wasn’t easy to get dressed up as the spirit Gaia without proper facilities and the leeches were a big threat. But we enjoyed the filming,” Anoka Abeyratne who featured as the main character of the video said.

Anoka is the South Asian Youth Environment Award recipient in 2011 and a British Council Climate Champion. Together with her fellow Climate Champion Sikander Sabeer, she attended the International Climate Change Summit, COP17, in Durban South Africa in December, where they first launched the video. “Launching the video at the first ever Sri Lankan youth side-event at a UN Climate Change summit gave it a high profile,” said Sikandar, who was happy with the response they received.

Dulip Gabadamudalige praised the enthusiasm of the group and said he hoped the video would be a platform to carry this message on environmental consciousness. The video was launched locally at the EDEX exhibition held in January.

The crew behind a green message

Find out more

Visit http://www.makeitgreenagain.org/ to read about the making of Make it Green Again..!! You can view the video at YouTube type “Make it Green Again” at http://www.youtube.com to search it or visit this tiny URL http://tiny.cc/2WIe2b

Would you like to be a Climate Champion of 2012?

The “Make it Green” venture was initiated as a project by the British Council’s International Climate Champion (ICC) programme. ICC aims to inspire young people, especially students, to spread the word about Climate Change, its effects and what can be done to mitigate them.

You too can become a Climate Champion for 2012. Contact thushara.gunasekera@britishcouncil.org for more information.

Published on SundayTimes on 11.03.2012 http://www.sundaytimes.lk/120311/Magazine/sundaytimesmagazine_01.html

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One Response to “Gaia the earth goddess goes digital”

  1. Nimnaya Says:

    add ur blog http://nimnaya.info

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