Published 02 April 2015
At 8.30pm on Saturday the lights went off on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and on monuments and in homes all over the world, for the annual Earth Hour. Millions of people take part in Earth Hour, organised by the World Wildlife Fund, every year. The initiative began in Sydney in 2007, but is now truly global.
The goal of Earth Hour isn’t to save energy but to raise awareness for the need for sustainable energy sources and for action on climate change.
The Sydney Environment Institute and Macleay Museum at The University of Sydney marked Earth Hour 2015 with a performance called She [Still] Cries at Night by The Living Room Theatre that highlighted the plight of one of the overlooked victims of climate change.
The performance was a sequel to last years’ She Only Cries at Night, which drew on Iain McCalman’s book The Reef for inspiration. This year the event was informed by research undertaken by Leah Lui-Chivizhe on green sea turtles in the Pacific.
‘I was inspired after hearing Leah’s research, she is a beautiful storyteller and I truly believe that by making academic research human, engaging and relatable we can create real change,’ said Michelle St Anne, Animateur with The Living Room Theatre.
‘Each year hundreds of turtles die needlessly, many while trying to find their way back to ancestral beaches that have been eroded or by getting tangled in plastic pollution. This year Earth Hour is raising funds to buy circle hooks in Columbia and prevent the accidental death of turtles at the hands of fishermen.
‘We are highlighting this issue by allowing the audience to experience the life of a turtle. We personify the lives of these reptiles by casting children, nurses and even my own Mother as the ancient turtle.’