No more "dreams of dinosaurs", time for new leaders: Filmmaker Lynette Wallworth accepts Crystal Award

No more “dreams of dinosaurs”, time for new leaders: Filmmaker Lynette Wallworth accepts Crystal Award

Lynette Wallworth
Award-winning Australian filmmaker, artist and director Lynette Wallworth accepted a Crystal Award for global cultural leadership at Davos on Monday, taking the opportunity to call for new leadership on climate change.

In her poetic acceptance speech, Wallworth took aim at Scott Morrison and the coal industry, saying we have elected leaders who hold up “dreams of dinosaurs, whose days are done.” 

“This is a time for new leaders,” Wallworth told the World Economic Forum.

“For youth leaders, for women leaders and Indigenous leaders. And for those who can work with them because this world has already changed.”

As a virtual reality filmmaker, Wallworth used her platform at Davos to talk about the new realities of climate change in a world that has been “unutterably altered”. She said our leaders are aligned with corporations over community and with privilege and power over shared humanity. 

“I am standing here a traveller from a new reality – a burning Australia, where amidst the endless, falling ash, the thing that is clearest to see is that what was feared and what was warned is no longer in our future, a topic for debate, it is here,” she said.

“We have seen the unfolding wings of climate change and to face what this new reality brings, we need leaders to match this moment.”

“There is an extinction going on, it is the death of a worn out way that no longer serves. As powerful as their last rampant smashings appear, the dinosaur industries will die. They are dying now. They will go because we are human and at our core, we want to live.”

“Some of those who are ready for this moment have already shifted into power and they are in this room,” she continued.

“So despite my Prime Minister’s appreciation of coal, it is a fossil he is holding and we have a future to create and for that, we need not just leaders, but thinkers and visionaries.”

Wallworth is most known for her film Collisions (2016), a virtual reality journey to the land of Indigenous elder Nyarri Morgan, whose first contact with Western culture was in the 1950s, when he witnessed an atomic bomb test in the Australian desert. It was a complete collision between technology and one of the oldest cultures on Earth.  

In 2017, Wallworth won an Emmy, the Outstanding New Approaches to Documentary Award, for Collisions. The film was originally commissioned by World Economic Forum.

Wallworth finished her speech by quoting the final lines from Collisions: “There is what we do not know and then there is what we come to know and its what we do next that makes the difference.”

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