Other Bushfire Stories

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action (BSCA) are a group of bushfire survivors, firefighters and members of fire-affected communities doing everything they can to help Australia make progress tackling the climate crisis. Their Survivor Stories are featured on the BSCA website.

Recovery: The Exhibition

Recovery is an eco-arts project exploring Ecology and Art to celebrate the work of Citizen Scientists in the Blue Mountains, Australia. The work is co-ordinated by the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (BMWHI) in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Blue Mountains City Council. 

Our group of passionate ecologists, citizen scientists and artists came together over a period of ten months to investigate the effects of the 2019-20 fires. They looked into the trauma, deaths and the impact on the flora and fauna and the remarkable processes of habitat and species recovery – through a series of workshops, collective interactions, and storytelling. Individual artists and small groups of artists and ecologists then collaborated to produce the series of art works for the Eco-Arts Space, based on collected and archived data and personal and shared experiences.

An Endangered Menagerie

The essays collected in An Endangered Menagerie were originally presented at Requiem, an exhibition curated by Janet Laurence and the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney.

In the aftermath of the 2019-20 fires, scientists created a ‘priority list’ of over 700 species of plants and animals that had been significantly impacted upon and were in urgent need of conservation attention. Most of these species had seen more than half of their known area of distribution burn—many of them much more. This collection of essays is a modest effort to respond to this immense challenge. Each essay offers a short reflection that seeks to capture, to summon up, a particular plant or animal species and its threatened way of life. In so doing, our hope is that we might create an opportunity to, in some small way, confront and make sense of this space of ongoing and escalating loss.

Fire Feels

Fire Feels is another online archive collecting accounts of bushfire experiences. It arose from two friends writing letters to each other about how they felt about the bushfires ravaging Australia in 2019/2020, and climate change more generally. They then decided that their political representatives, who have the power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus prevent such situations worsening, needed to know how they feel. So they sent the letters to them.

They encouraged others to do the same by sharing their experiences of the bushfires, written as letters to their Members of Parliament. Many of these are collected on this archive website to help bear witness to the ongoing, place-based, changing relationships we have with fire in these times that some are calling the Pyrocene.