Geomedia and pandemic poetry: Two new books from York digital media scholar
Environmental Studies instructor, documentarian and York University Postdoctoral Fellow Mark Terry recently published books addressing innovations in climate communications technologies and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Terry, who received a 2020 Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, celebrated the launch of The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change in March, and released Pandemic Poetry in July.
The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) examines the history and theories surrounding mobilizing the documentary film as a communication tool between filmmakers and policymakers. Based on his involvement with the United Nations’ program The Youth Climate Report, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-funded research project, Terry explores new methods and approaches to remediating the documentary film as an instrument of social change by incorporating geomedia platforms with multilinear and database documentary film architectures.
Ecocinema and its semiotic storytelling techniques are also explored for their unique approaches to audience engagement. The methods identified throughout the book are combined with the spatial and temporal affordances provided by Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to create the "Geo-Doc," a new tool for the activist documentarian.
Pandemic Poetry (Hollywood Canada Communications, 2020) is a collection of poetic musings on life during the time of COVID-19. Terry turns his sights toward creative perspectives and personal observations made during his months of isolation.
His experiences with polar exploration, filmmaking and climate activism all come into play as he paints vibrant images of joy, hope and curiosity during the global pandemic.
“I wrote this during my own isolation to share my observations, concerns and optimism with others who may be feeling despondent during this pandemic,” Terry said, “to let them know they are not alone and that while these times may be troubling for many, they are also temporary and provide an opportunity for self-reflection as well.”
The book contains poems about the Black Lives Matter movement, urban and rural lifestyles, war, climate change and significant occasions, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day and birthdays.
Pandemic Poetry is available for purchase electronically on Amazon. A paperback version will be released in August.