Bringing colour to coexistence

This is a story of how incorporating colour and positive messages into your narrative can change the relationship we have with wildlife in a way that promotes coexistence.

Mireia Villalonga

April 25, 2020

Effective communication is composed of several elements that reach the heart of the receiver. Some of these elements are words, sounds, visuals, textures and most importantly, a viewpoint that gives direction and meaning to a story. 

Every night we look up to the sky, we see the moon in a different phase. The truth is, the moon is always the same. It does not change. Only our viewpoint does and, because of it, we give the moon meaning. One day there is a full moon and another waning crescent. The same happens with communication messages.

When communicating coexistence, one has to take a neutral story and give it a viewpoint. Most of the communication messages we absorb, revolve around impactful and negative stories that include pictures of deforestation and poaching. However, professionals from different backgrounds are coming together to understand that positive and colourful messages are more likely to reach people’s hearts.

Marc Bekoff wrote in his book ‘Rewilding our hearts, building pathways of compassion and coexistence’ that what we need is positive media. We have to show an elephant with her offspring in the plains rather than an elephant being poached. Artists are now following the words of Bekoff and creating pieces of art that do not include slaughtered rhinos for their horns or fires destroying majestic trees but touching pieces of lively wildlife.

Artists have an unusual ability to touch people’s hearts, spark interest in diverse topics and motivate them to take action. Like mixing colours in a watercolour palette, artists can ignite an explosive chain reaction of meaningful change.

“Just as astounding orators motivate an audience with words, I speak in a language of colour, constructed to galvanize a generation of young people in support of our fellow (non-human) Earthlings. Data and impassioned speeches can only go as far as the people who are willing to pay attention to it. The more Creatives we can get to share the message through their work, the more people will pay attention. Get the attention of enough people and we will have a legitimate movement behind us. I personally believe in showcasing how breathtaking nature can be, not bludgeoning viewers with traumatic images of dead animals” by Morgan Richardson

Artists like David Filer are joining the movement and following the steps of Marc Bekoff and Morgan Richardson. While Filer does not use colour, he creates stunning masterpieces of humans and wildlife with pencils that truly connect us and inspire us to coexist. Below there is a selection of pictures from David Filer made with a pencil that we hope will inspire you today. Next time you create a communication campaign to promote coexistence, keep in mind that incorporating colour and positive messages into your narrative can change the relationship we have with wildlife in a way that fosters coexistence.

David Filer
David Filer

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