Sara Penrhyn Jones is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a senior lecturer in media at Bath Spa University. Her background is in observational documentary filmmaking for television, but in the last fifteen years she has applied these skills to more participatory media production. This has often involved working with vulnerable and marginalized people, to help express what’s important to them. With a particular interest in climate change communication, Sara has led or contributed to several international research projects that explore how climate change affects individual and community sense of place. In this context, film has been a research tool, as well as a way to engage diverse communities, directly or indirectly. Working through film has also meant exploring and responding to the challenges of representation, particularly in postcolonial and multilingual settings. Her projects use artistic and collaborative methods to achieve goals that are creative, political, and educational. This work has mostly focused on Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in the Pacific Ocean, but also the UK, the Marshall Islands, and India. Sara’s work is naturally interdisciplinary and she has worked with other academics, artists, and cultural partners across the world.
RCC Research Project: Enduring Connections: What Does Eco-engagement Look (and Sound) Like?
- TIMELINE (30 min). Screenworks, 2016. Film exploring community, temporality, and climate change). Winner of “Best Practice Research Award” in 2017.
- Troubled Waters (9:40 min). 2015. Kiribati, climate change, and challenges of representation. Shortlisted for two Arts and Humanities Research Council awards, 2015. Screened at UN Climate Change Conferences, and public settings such as the Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg, 2017.
- with Jill Greenhalgh. Magdalena (31.44 min). 2013. Film about an international network of women in theatre. Funded by Wales Arts International and screened internationally.
- Contemplation at Midnight (12 min). 2013. Installation film, funded by Wales Arts International. Public screening: Live projection on houses in Mid Wales in collaboration with artist Esther Tew, 2015. Symposium screening: “Im/mortality and In/finitude in the Anthropocene; Perspectives from the Environmental Humanities.” Stockholm, 2015. Installation: Aberystwyth Arts Centre as part of a conference: Future Climate dialogues, 2013.
- Mum Inside. 2009. One example from an educational, participatory project delivered for Media for Development. The project trained ex-offenders to make their own videos, in their own voice.