Black Mirror, Handmaid’s Tale, SS-GB to name a few of the dystopian TV shows I have been unnerved by and had to switched off in 2017. I know many of my friends enjoy these but for my vivid imagination it’s all too visceral. I watch them and fear what they show is already becoming a reality. They are not simply plucked from someone’s imagination but they are exaggerations of the future based on our current trajectory. My fear disables me. I find myself curled up on the sofa, mind falling down a spiral of despair, wondering how the world will ever escape its current horrors.
During a talk last week activist, journalist and best-selling author Naomi Klein discussed a reemergence of dystopian narratives such as George Orwell’s book 1984 in 2017. She challenged us to swap the dystopian narrative for a utopian vision. In these visions the actions of individuals would lead to a future of hope and happiness rather than despair and destruction. By visualising a future of hope we would be enabled to make change rather than frozen with fear.
My biggest fear for our future is the extent of environmental destruction and if we will ever learn to live in harmony with mother nature. However we must believe it is not too late to start rewriting our future. We have always adapted to flaws in our system in order to comply to the laws of nature. For centuries, trying to sync calendars with the length of the natural year caused confusion – until the Egyptian concept of leap year provided a way to make up for lost time. One of the biggest flaws in our current system is plastic waste. Our Oceans are being suffocated by it and we need to adapt now in order to survive. In 2017 I have seen more media reporting of this global crisis than ever before and just in my local community of London change is happening.
I want to recognise this adaptation and celebrate my community. So each time I see an act which is contributing to a reduction of plastic in our oceans I will take a snap and put it on a new Instagram account @plasticunwrapped. I will tag the location, the business it belongs to or the individual. You can also mention or tag @plasticunwrapped on photos you upload showcasing our cause. You never know we may just see an incredible global movement emerging!