Video Contest on Sixth Extinction: Two Honorable Mentions from Same School

Angel Nkwonta and Elizabeth Hwang have more in common than attending the same school. They both won an honorable mention award in the World of 7 Billion student video contest, both choosing to connect population to the global challenge: “The world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction.”

Angel’s video, “Sixth Mass Extinction,” is a montage of video clips in black and white. As images of tall buildings, construction sites, and streets congested with cars fill the screen, Angel explains that “99% of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities.” The stark reality is sobering as the dwindling numbers of bird, fish, primates, and plants in revealed. The solutions offered are a mix of traditional and innovative changes that would all serve to stop habitat destruction, lessening the human impact on these species. The sustainable production of products such as palm oil is discussed along with green energy and donating to conservation organizations.

Elizabeth’s video, “We Did This to Ourselves,” is visually distinct with hand-drawn animations telling the story and sharing her message. The brightly-colored images follow her clear script from point to point. The first is that population growth and consumption have changed the earth’s environment – 50% of the planet’s land mass has been transformed for human use. The second point is what causes these changes including deforestation and pollution, both of which have a further influence by affecting climate. Elizabeth’s final point speaks to solutions that individuals can take – decreasing our carbon footprint, recycling, using clean emission vehicles, and reducing our consumption are all presented as alternative choices that would collectively have a positive impact.

Both Angel and Elizabeth attend Pullman High School in Pullman, WA. They were assigned the video in their Multimedia class and it was the first foray into filmmaking for both students. But because they used such different production methods, their experiences were unique. Angel had to spend a lot of time on editing to ensure the video’s narration matched the sequence of clips and images. Elizabeth’s challenge was creating the animation itself – she would draw each picture, then scan it onto the computer where it would get cut out and put in motion. Both winners learned a lot about human-environment interactions through the process.

Want to see the other top videos on this topic?
First Place – “What Will Happen to Us” by Katherine Selley and Catherine Knox
Second Place – “The Sixth Mass Extinction” by Michael Kuroda
Honorable Mention – “Time to Change” by Prerana Pai

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