Greening the Genre

Fairy Tale, the Apocalypse, and Ecology Documentaries


  • Paola Spinozzi



Ecological Narratives, fairy tale, apocalypse, ecology documentary, David Attenborough


New critical perspectives are required to investigate forms of creative and critical writing that produce ecological knowledge and representation, to identify stylistic and structural features that strengthen or undermine environmental communication, and to appreciate narrative modes that may inspire a change in cultural mindsets and behaviours.
The relationships between modes of communication and intergenerational dynamics are essential to understanding the power of environmental news and stories. Fairy tales and fables, in which the joy of the happy ending still resonates with doubts and fears, and dystopian and apocalyptic stories, in which destruction can raise palingenetic hope, are essential to environmental communication. David Attenborough’s ecology documentaries form a new green genre that blends the fairy tale and apocalyptic dystopia and uses entertainment to produce public understanding of the ecological crisis.
Who is the narrator and how is the narrative built and delivered to develop environmental advocacy? Can nature documentary TV series contribute to changing consumers’ habits? Is the role played by celebrity conservationists and conservationist celebrities essential to promoting a cultural shift? These are intriguing questions raised by ecological narratives.



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