Climate Chaos, Baby Trailer

A short documentary introducing Gen Z voices on the ethical debate about childbearing during the climate crisis.

Academic Abstract:
In the form of a documentary, my interdisciplinary honors thesis research investigates how Generation Z (Gen Z) subjects consider having future children amidst the climate crisis. Using Feminist Science and Technology Studies as the academic framework, I conducted 20 ethnographic interviews with 18-24 year old subjects in several different locations. Questions focused on addressing the gap at the intersection of several well-researched topics: Gen Z engagements with climate change, reproduction, eco-anxiety, projected futures and hope. My documentary method challenges traditional scholarly modes of how to conduct research and engage with public debates effectively. The film supplements current research methods in ethnographic documentary film by featuring young people telling their own stories about environmental ethics topics. Invoking non-expert interpretations of science and anti-racist critiques of overpopulation rhetoric, my research revises current scholarly debates on the topic. This is a preliminary investigation about how Gen Z subjects: 1) engage in ethical discourse about justice, and 2) make sense of notions of cause, responsibility, and action regarding the local and global environment. Interview interpretations resulted in these central themes: precarity, non-traditional family structures, reproduction as a form of resilience & the desire to transform despair into hope and action, selfishness/selflessness, and avoidance of education about environmental crises. My role in this collaborative project: scholar, director, cinematographer, and project manager.

Director’s Bio:
Lucia Ribisi is an artist from Los Angeles who collaborates with activists and art students to create multimedia projects that promote reproductive and environmental justice. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Vogue, Wallpaper*, and other international publications. She has been featured in group exhibitions at the New Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA Honors College with highest honors and the Chancellor’s Service Award. Lucia lives in New York and works as a teaching artist at the Brooklyn Museum.

Editor/Producer: Aidan Casey
Executive Producer: Jack Weerts
Composers: Isaac Pross and Anna Abondolo
Funded by UCLA grants from the Undergraduate Research Center and the Center for the Study of Women.
Special thanks to advisers Sharon J. Traweek, Safiya U. Noble, and Kristy Guevara-Flanagan.