On Wednesday, 8 June, and Saturday, 11 June, we were hosting two discussions at the largest festival for the digital society, re:publica. On Wednesday, we hosted a conversation with artist and expert Hao Li on the topic of 'Deepfakes – Pure Evil or also an Opportunity?'. On Saturday we were exploring the role that storytelling can play in the fight against the climate crisis, together with journalist Sara Schurmann, scientist Lewis Akenji, and theatre director Michael Ruf.
Deepfakes – Pure Evil or also an Opportunity?
Deepfakes rose to notoriety due their misuse in revenge porn, framings, and public manipulation. But their creators’ intentions were not all bad, and they also offer countless opportunities for the movie industry. Just think about how this technology was used after the death of Paul Walker to finish the film project ‘The Fast and the Furious 7’ and how it has been used in the past in a number of documentary projects to guard the identities of human rights activists without them losing their humanity. Together with internationally renowned expert Hao Li, we were taking a look at the dangers but also the possibilities of deepfakes for activists, movements, and the creative community. We cannot stop this technology, so why not use it for the common good?
Hearts and Minds: Storytelling and the Climate Crisis
The Climate Crisis is real. But how do we encourage people to take it seriously? How do we move their hearts and minds, connect them to the causes and encourage them to stand up for the solutions? Through excellent storytelling. Pure facts can be overwhelming and devastating, but when placed in the context of a story that people can relate to, those facts become part of a reality, which we can comprehend better, react to, and address. Together with Sara Schurmann (journalist), Michael Ruf (theater director) and Lewis Akenji (scientist), we were discussing the influence that storytelling can have on changing the general public perspective, and why we may need to follow a constructive storytelling approach.