About Miki Dedijer |
Our relationship with nature determines the quality of our lives. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the weather we enjoy or despise, the medications we take, the fuel we choose to power our vehicles all depend on and affect our environment.
For the past five centuries, traditionally Christian nations have by and large considered themselves the stewards of the natural environment. Most still do: western economies tend to view animals and plants that thrive in forests and seas, fields and savannahs as simply resources to be appropriated, exploited and sold for profit.
It's a lucrative approach: the combined ideologies of humanism, positivism and capitalism have created untold riches for these powerful nations and their companies. But the costs are considerable: irreversible environmental damage, loss of biodiversity, decreased food security and social instability.
Cultures who traditionally view nature as a Mother-figure are aware that they cannot survive in an environment that fails to nurture the human animal. Such animism may seem anachronistic in today's technology-dependent societies. Yet it offers a valuable counterpoint to urban life; the more we refrain from acknowledging our animal dependence on nature, the more we undermine our future as a species.
Every day we alter our environment in choosing to live with chemical pollution, over-population, genetically-engineered livestock and crops, global warming, oil dependency and unsustainable resource depletion. It's highly questionable if any of these choices will actually improve the quality of our lives in the long term.
In my work, I seek to highlight the various ways in which humans relate to nature around the world, and how the choices we make affect our daily lives. Whether we live in Manhattan or on the plains of Madagascar, we daily reap the consequences of our evolving relationship with nature.
It is my hope that my reportages and films may reach out to a wider, mainly urban audience that is too busy to consider, has forgotten or prefers to ignore our never-ending dependency on a healthy, diverse and self-regenerating environment.
Only by establishing a conscious relationship with nature based on respect for the integrity of all life, can we continue to fully enjoy the gifts generously offered by the unique planet on which we live, as one among millions of other species.
About Miki Dedijer
Miki lives with Cecilia at an 80-acre farm on the west coast of Sweden, where he is establishing a wilderness awareness school to reconnect children and youth to their natural home. Journalism is taking second place to developing the farm, and the offering of environmental education courses throughout Sweden.
Miki's last major film project was to co-direct The Planet, a four-part TV series and a 90-minute documentary film for cinemas. The film looks at the comprehensive man-made changes that are now affecting the earth system, and the consequences this is having on our lives. You can read more about this project at www.charon.se, under the menu-heading 'In Production'.
Earlier work includes Dream Diggers (1999) about four impoverished friends digging for sapphires in the southwestern reaches of Madagascar. Belgrade Zoo (2000) explores life in the Yugoslav capital in the final months of Slobodan Milosevic's dictatorship, seeking parallells between the animals trapped in the city zoo and the people trapped in the city streets. Both films have been shown on Swedish Television, movie theaters and appeared at European film festivals.
A former associate editor of Scanorama, the SAS in-flight magazine, Miki has published well over 100 profiles, feature stories, travelogues and environmental reportages in Swedish and international magazines. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Sunday Times, Geographical and BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Miki's focus on exploring our relation to nature builds on a deep and long-standing interest in the natural world. Holding a degree in biology from Princeton University, Miki has conducted research in tropical ecology with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on the Barro Colorado Island, Panama; studied the neurology of bird song and beaver communication; and researched the neurology of dyslexia at the Beth Israel hospital in Boston. He also volunteers as an instructor in survival techniques and bushcraft with various organizations.
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