It was during the very first lockdown in the UK, when I first thought of the idea for Meanwhile the Earth. I was out on my one form of exercise for the day; walking at the beach. On that evening, Brighton beach looked particularly beautiful as the sunset was igniting everything with the enticing, and almost delicious, orange glow of the golden hour. The sea was smooth and calm. For a moment, I felt as if the Earth was taking a deep breath, and I was bearing witness to it. I felt the need to share this and resorted to Snapchat, as you do, taking a steady video panning across the beach, which I captioned “Humans are stressing about Coronavirus, meanwhile the Earth’s like…”. Later, a friend of mine replied to my story saying she loved the caption, and Meanwhile the Earth was born.
Originally, I used the hashtag #meanwhiletheearth as part of a campaign my peers and I developed for our Community Media module. Our campaign was called ‘Divest University of Brighton’ (affectionately known as DUB), and beyond an assessment, it really became a passion project. We were all committed to spreading awareness of the University’s indirect investments into the destructive fossil fuel industry. Later on we created an Instagram account: @meanwhiletheearth to highlight the positive impact that less carbon emissions during the Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide was having on our planet, and therefore heighten the awareness that we need to cut carbon emissions drastically in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed working on the project for the module, and we actually had some success by initiating a dialogue with the University around their indirect support of fossil fuels.
To read more about our campaign you can check out our blog at – https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/lm174group2/
Our Instagram account @meanwhiletheearth still remains, but has felt rather neglected since finishing the module so I’ve decided to reignite it and open up the opportunity to any student, budding photographer or not, to send in your own Earth pics to be featured on the page. The idea is to display our beautiful Earth in all its glory, emphasising what we will lose if we don’t strive to cut our carbon emissions now, and in the future.
To have a photo featured on the Instagram page you can send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description, naming the date and location – or alternatively you can DM the account directly @meanwhilethearth, and send your photo through Instagram. On any other social media platform, such as Facebook or Twitter, feel free to tag us using #meanwhilethearth.