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Tema Milstein | Nature freaks

Human exceptionalism perpetuated through cultural and institutional systems is killing us, and bringing much of life on Earth down with us.

Tema Milstein

If we are going to save the planet, Tema Milstein says we need to start hugging trees. Westernised humans tend to believe they are separate from nature, which shapes thinking and actions toward the environment. But seeing the world with humans at its centre has massive ramifications – from climate crisis to mass extinction. What stands in the way of more of us remembering we are embedded in the natural world and its intricate networks? And how do we override anthropocentrism, and start seeing ourselves as one with the flowers?

A UNSW Centre for Ideas project, with illustrations designed by Juune Lee and footage filmed at the EPICentre – a UNSW research centre located at the Art & Design campus. Videos filmed and edited by Paper Moose, and podcast editing and music composition by Bryce Halliday.

Tema Milstein

Tema Milstein

Tema Milstein’s work tends to ways culture and communication shape ecological understandings, identities, and actions. Her recent edited books, the Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (2020) and Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice (2017), explore the centrality of the ecological in our lives and our learning. She is an Associate Professor of Environment & Society in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney, and convenor of the Master of Environmental Management program.  

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