A Siege of Salt and Sand


Wed, 11/18/2020 - 4:30pm

Film Screening/Professional Development

This film will be presented by its filmmaker, Sam McNeil, who recently graduated from the University of Arizona's School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies and School of Journalism. He will also be discussing how his dual degrees have shaped his career.

Photo of Tunisian Sahara
A Siege of Salt and Sand:
Tunisia is beset by climate chaos: sea-level rise, desertification, water scarcity, and species loss. With two backpacks of DSLR gear, Radhouane Addala and ST McNeil travelled across Tunisia to visualize the fallout of climate change today in North Africa. Caught between the corrupting sea and the hungry desert, Tunisia today faces a catastrophic convergence of climate chaos just as the Jasmine Revolution continues to transform the North African country.
From “The Death Shore” in Gabes to the desert-plague of the south, the invasive sea, to clear-cut hillocks, Rad and Sam share the stories of scientists, farmers, fishermen, doctors, officials and activists on the front lines of climate change in Tunisia. How will increased droughts, stronger storms and rainfall losses of 15-30 percent alter social, political, cultural and economic systems? As with glaciers and coasts, the deserts of the world are projected to become the first region-sized casualties of the end of the Holocene and the beginning of the so-called Anthropocene epoch. A clear majority of Tunisia is in some way threatened by desertification—other environmental challenges like industrial pollution and deforestation increase the danger alongside political instability following the Jasmine Revolution.
Long celebrated as an environmental leader, and renowned in history for lush lands, Tunisia today faces a threat that promises to get much, much worse as climate change touches down. What is afflicting the land, what is protecting Tunisia, and how will climate change transform these problems, potential solutions, and ecosystems?
Sam McNeil
Sam McNeil, Director/Co-producer/Editor/Camera:
Video journalist for The Associated Press in China. Before that he was located in Jordan.
Arabic (with English subtitles), English
43 minutes
School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies, School of Journalism, and Latin American Studies
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