Catherine Williams

Project Info

Role Global Environments Summer Academy 2012 participant
Nationality Australian

Project Description

I’ve been working as a professional documentary filmmaker for the last 13 years. During this time, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with folk from all walks of life. I’m constantly absorbing narratives of the human condition, and am particularly drawn to people who passionately fight for what they believe with incredible determination and spirit. It is those friends in the deserts of Australia, cities of Iran, or taiga of Siberia that have challenged me and also shared such wisdom, courage and inspiration.

Over the years I’ve produced lots of different documentaries and some have been screened at festivals like Cannes (Yellow Fella), Sundance, Melbourne, Mumbai, at museums, on digital media platforms, and more traditionally by television broadcasters including the Australian/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Discovery and National Geographic. I hold a Master of Arts in Documentary and a Master of Science in Climate Change and I’m currently based at the United Nations University in Tokyo, where my work is required to encompass intergovernmental, national and community scaled issues. Quite plainly, through the narrative arts, I endeavour to build bridges between diverse peoples. As a constant world traveller, I live in a suitcase, like dancing till dawn and am most at home in remote villages, co-creating media projects that entertain, educate and help resonate local narratives at a planetary level.

“I’m constantly absorbing narratives of the human condition, and am particularly drawn to people who passionately fight for what they believe with incredible determination and spirit.”  Right now, I’m intrigued by the idea of climate memory and how it manifests in various knowledge systems.  I am exploring how to mesh together mechanisms that might work as culturally appropriate collaborative tools, subsequently augmenting subjective relations between traditional and the science expertise. From personal experience, I feel that current participatory media surrounding environmental change is an uneven platform, which does not manifest self-determination across scales. I am particularly interested in exploring media beyond “participatory methodologies”, focusing specifically on relationism, equity, archetype, self-determination, multiplicity, longer-term expertise, flux, and the strengthening of “bio-cultural maintenance” tools and frameworks within current systems.

Through the narrative arts, I endeavor to build bridges between diverse peoples.

Catherine earned her MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, in August 2014. Her thesis title was “Tracing the Socio-Technical Histories of Northern Australian Aboriginal relationships to Environmental Knowledge”. [Updated September 2014]


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