Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Road to Copenhagen and the Quest for Brundtland

After being granted press accreditation for the UN COP15 (Climate Change Conference) in Copenhagen, I have begun my travel plans. I have already booked a the bus to arrive there on 7 December, which will take all night and should be a blast because it drives up onto a ferry for part of the way! Once there at 07.25, I will have to hit the ground running on the first day of the conference. I really don't know what to expect. I'm sure there will be a schedule provided when I check in and collect my press badge. I hope to be very busy!
Just being in the midst of this internationally historical event should be impressive. I'm sure many people will gather for demonstrations, protests and performances. There will undoubtedly be a plethora of "decisive moments" just waiting to be captured. Funny, as my professor Doug Manchee from RIT just reminded me: Photojournalism was the only concentration within the BFA Photo program that I was not enrolled in at any point.

Last weekend I met with an environmentalist activist group for kids called EcoAgents at Maridalen Skole, in Nordmarka east of where I live. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL setting. As I rode the bus up there, the sun was golden and falling sublimely on the sprawling, grassy landscape. Enchanting vistas of the fjord and the city of Oslo creeping up the scooping, glacial hills have almost lost their novelty as they are so common. In fact, every day as I ride my bike to school I catch a post-card-picture glimpse of the view. Three things I saw on my way to Maridalen skole, which were just unbelievably perfect:
A pasture with 9 white sheep, and one black one.
A herd of Clydesdales. Yes, Clydesdales. I am not making this up.
A woman sitting in the grass in a pasture next to a fence with a dog beside her. A colt and his mother grazing on the other side of the fence, golden light illuminating their coats in an almost melodramatically resplendent way.

No, I did not catch a photo of any of these scenes. Yes, I regret it. But it could have served as little more than proof that I actually was there and saw these things. The scratches on the bus window and the swift movement of our passing would have prohibited me from truly capturing the magnificence of the scene. I will just have to hope that you believe me.
Honestly, I'm fairly sure that my humble hands could not have done justice to what I saw anyway. I'm glad that I just sat back and enjoyed.

On Tuesday I had a very successful interview with the Minister for Environment and Development, Erik Solheim. I was impressed with his eloquent responses to my questions. He had some borderline-yogiesque insights about balance and compromise that I cannot wait to include in the book.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, that most inspiring of historic leaders, that woman of wisdom, power and grace, continues to allude me. I have tried almost every tactic I can think of to find her contact info online. I have contacted groups she is or has been involved in (with the exception of the illustrious Elders, whom I think are far too wise to publish a contact address on the net). I have tried to go through Arbeiderpartiet, though somewhat half-heartedly. I do plan to photograph a representative from that group as soon as I can. Perhaps they will have some information for me as to how to get in touch with my hero. I will fly to France to meet her!!

And now for some totally random photos:

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