In mid-February ACE Aotearoa participated in a climate change webinar organised by the global network PIMA (Promoting Interrogating and Mobilising Adult education), CASAE (Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education) and SCUTREA (a UK professional network of adult educators). Colin McGregor, ACE Aotearoa’s Director is a member of PIMA, and joined the international group of about 50 to discuss the devastating impacts of climate change and disaster capitalism/resource extraction on vulnerable communities.

Prior to the webinar a video, Women Hold Up the Sky, was circulated. The film told the story of women in three southern African countries whose land, lives and livelihoods have been crushed by the combined impacts of Big Oil or Big Coal and climate change.

It showed how empowered indigenous women, those most responsible for growing food for their families, have used the adult education tools of theatre, song and dance to bring their women together, develop skills and fight back. They are still not winning. Neither are they giving up.

These communities have been the least responsible for climate change, but they are forced to carry the greater burden. Climate change injustice is an international and national problem.

There was discussion during the webinar about what this means for our adult educators. The suggestions focused on: finding ways to teach our communities about climate change and disaster capitalism in a way that is relevant to them (e.g. while ‘mining’ may not be a problem for our own communities – food security might be); and working to broaden the community’s knowledge about these issues so that, not only can they show solidarity for those most impacted by climate change, but they can develop a counter narrative to capitalism’s strongly supported story and flawed logic that extraction, profit and growth are good and necessary – while some people are expendable.

And they can, as many of our community organisations in Aotearoa are already doing, educate people about sustainable development – as well as the ethics and politics of climate change.

If you would like to use the documentary ‘Women hold up the sky’ for educational purposes, WoMin African Alliance will be honoured. Their main request is that you send the request to them at so that they can track how far the film is traveling and make a record as part of social impact monitoring. They are also keen to follow up with people to glean feedback for use in our documentation about the film’s journey.