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Digital Subscriptions > Be Kind > July 2019 > The revolution will be televised

The revolution will be televised

Are documentaries effective tools for making people care about climate change? Kaya Purchase investigates

David Attenborough is a national treasure. In fact, The Guardian newspaper has stated that he was voted ‘Britain’s most trustworthy celebrity’. This trust has been won by a lifetime documenting the wildest places on Earth to give the public a peek into the secret lives of the animal kingdom, from the tiniest insect to the giant blue whale. Providing the public with such an extensive catalogue of documentaries has allowed people to see how invaluable the role of each and every species is to our existence. It has helped people see the extraordinary magic of survival practised by wildlife against all odds. But, the most definitive element of Attenborough’s documentaries is his voice, or rather his narration. His voice is now so iconic that it’s almost as recognisable to a British person as the Union Jack. By overlaying programmes with his distinctive tones, the documentaries become stories, as opposed to just a dictation of facts, which helps the audience feel empathy for these creatures, making their plight more emotive. In episode two, Frozen Worlds, of Attenborough’s new Netflix series Our Planet, we are shown the largest gathering of walrus on Earth.

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About Be Kind

Hello, What makes a home? Is it where your family is? The town you grew up in? Or maybe it’s wherever you lay your hat? After years of moving around to different cities, taking different jobs and making different groups of friends, I’ve realised that home can take many forms throughout your life. My nan’s house watching Gladiators and Blind Date with my brother was home. The campervan that housed all my worldly possessions when travelling in Australia was (a very tiny) home. The London flat share with my best girlfriend in my 20s was home. The house I grew up in will always sound, smell and feel like home. And I hope I still have many homes left to discover. This month I’ve read so many stories of ‘home’ – from foster parents, the elderly, my colleagues and the communities striving to make the displaced feel safe and welcome. I’ve spoken to the people who attempt to make their towns a better place for all to live in, the ones who say ‘yes’ and go the extra mile to help other people. I’ve learned about places where neighbours are friends, not anonymous nuisances, and those who are happy and comfortable living alone. A home forms part of your identity and that’s a lot more than just bricks and mortar – it’s the people you love and the community you’re surrounded by that underpin it all. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor