(De)Construction of Language of Environmentalism and Resilience of the Poor in Commonwealth Movies: No Mercy by Obi Olisa (2016) and The Liquid Black Gold by Ikenna Emma (2013).


This paper examines the (de)construction of language of environmentalism and resilience of the poor in No Mercy by Obi Olisa (2016) and The Liquid Black Gold by Ikenna Emma all produced in Nigeria, a member of the Commonwealth. The aim is to portray the vital role the poor play in fighting to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. It showcases the potential role of the arts/cultural studies in environmental education and the development of the notion of environmental awareness as forms of environmental literacy in media and their applications in relation to environmental education.  In the construction of movies, care is taken in crafting the words and expressions that enrich the awareness of the environment. We examine English language use in issues related to environment; which are of paramount importance to Commonwealth states, communities and the world at large. Poor management of environment leads to depletion of resources and climate change. We analyze the soft power strategies used in managing or coping with environmental challenges within the Commonwealth countries. How can the media be used to promote environmentalism of the poor in the Commonwealth? How can the grassroots population be brought into environmental discourse and decision making process? What language is suitable for understanding the issues surrounding the environment? The hypotheses are that Movies can effectively be integrated into the environmental discourses; the issues related to environment can be handled better by bringing rural poor into the movies and language choice and use are pre-requisites for proper raising of awareness on environment resilience. We used the Theory of Deconstruction by Jacques Derrida (1967), Semiotics and the Speech Act Theory; Deconstruction enabled us to critique the relationship between texts and meanings. The approach consisted of conducting close reading of texts to find out what runs counter to the intended meaning or structural unity of two films. Analyses of results show a mastery of the aptness of using movies in raising awareness and getting involvement in environmental related phenomena.  The results suggest that transdisciplinary environmental education is prior and necessary for individuals to increase their awareness and to develop abilities to reflect on their environmental responsibilities. The results of the present study also evidence that the use of environmental documentary movies have an important potential to foster environmental awareness of pre-service teachers

Key words: media, language, Commonwealth, soft power, deconstruction, environmentalism, resilience.

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