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The Psychology and Imagery of Climate Change

Date Apr 04, 2017
Type Panel

How can we utilize visual culture to communicate the urgency of climate change? Join ICP Curator Cynthia Young in conversation with artist and activist Rachel Schragis and scientist and policymaker Irina Feygina about the issues and challenges of conveying this complex scientific topic to the general public. Schragis' mixed-media collage Confronting the Climate: A Flowchart of the People’s Climate March is featured in ICP's current exhibition, Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change. Feygina works for Climate Central, a non-partisan organization dedicated to researching and reporting the science and impacts of climate change.


Rachel Schragis is a visual artist, cultural organizer, and lifelong New Yorker who works on collective, creative projects aimed at societal transformation. Currently, Schragis is serving as the arts coordinator for the People's Climate March in Washington DC, to be held April 29. Schragis is a founding steward of the Brooklyn-based artist-activist collaborative People’s Collective Arts//Colectivo de Arte Popular.  She has also been honored to work with and within the domestic worker justice movement, the fight for $15 campaign, Occupy Wall Street, Flood the System, and the fossil fuel divestment movement. In 2012, Schragis was a Grace Paley Organizing Fellow with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and in 2014 she coordinated the arts team for New York's People's Climate March, for which she was honored by the Earth Day Institute as an environmental advocate of the year. She holds an MFA from Hunter College and is a regular guest lecturer at Parsons School of Design.

Irina Feygina is a social psychologist who specializes in climate communication and the behavioral aspects of public policy on clean energy, sustainability, and resilience. As director of Behavioral Science and Assessment at Climate Central, she works on issues of science skepticism, extreme weather attribution, and the public conversation on climate change. Previously, as a member of the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, she applied insights from behavioral science to improve program implementation across the federal government, and as a science fellow with Senator Bennet (D-CO), Feygina worked on energy and environment policy development. Her doctorate work at NYU focused on the role of motivated reasoning in climate change skepticism.

Cynthia Young (moderator) is the Curator of the Robert Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography. She organized the “Climate Changes” section for Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change, currently at ICP. She curated Capa in Color for ICP in 2014, now traveling in Europe and South America. Other recent ICP exhibitions include: We Went Back: Photographs from Europe 1933-1956 by Chim (with accompanying catalogue) in 2013, and The Mexican Suitcase: The Rediscovered Spanish Civil War Negatives of Capa, Chim, and Taro (and edited the award-winning catalogue) in 2010.