Bass Connections team members Jonathan Henderson and Raquel Salvatella de Prada
Photo Credit
Robert Zimmerman

Spectral Seas: Tackling Climate Change Through Storytelling

A Bass Connections team created an art installation on view in the lobby of the Rubenstein Arts Center. “This project is emblematic of the integrative and synthetic thinking that society needs to tackle the wicked challenges of climate change and sea level,” says Betsy Albright, assistant professor at the Nicholas School.

Jonathan Henderson and Raquel Salvatella de Prada have been collaborating for years on artistic responses to serious issues facing humans worldwide: migration, global warming, industrial exploitation, overpopulation. “To date our collaborations have addressed human and environmental crises in distant places,” says Salvatella de Prada. “But recently, we both felt the need to focus on pressing environmental issues here at home and to engage the local and academic communities in the exploration of those issues.”

Salvatella de Prada, associate professor of the practice of art, art history and visual studies, and Henderson, a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at Duke and a multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer, producer, and educator, brainstormed what it might look like, and thus was born a Bass Connections project, “Arts and the Anthropocene: Crisis and Resilience in North Carolina Waterways.”

Bass Connections projects, designed to bring together a diverse group of academics and students to shed light on a particular topic in a year-long multi-disciplinary collaboration, turned out to be a perfect vehicle for this rich and timely topic.