Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film (2014-2015)

What lessons can be learned about the role of energy resources in postconflict regions, and how can they be used to promote peace?

Using over a decade’s worth of postconflict environmental assessment film from the United Nations Environment Programme, team members explored the role of energy resources in conflict-affected countries (e.g., Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan). Team members catalogued and described digitized footage, and partnered with United Nations staff to produce visual outreach and training materials for conflict-reduction, energy resource management and environmental management. The focus was on energy’s role in economic development, environmental management and peace-building, with findings translated into visual materials addressing specific energy issues (e.g., oil and gas, charcoal, hydropower, timber). The project included meetings with policy experts and documentary filmmakers as well as a trip to the Environmental Film Festival.


Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

Team Outcomes

UNEP Film Project: Film Viewing and Discussion (event program)

Water Resources: Pressures in Post-Conflict Areas (video) 

Community and UNEP after the Crisis in Ogoniland (video)

2015 Oliver W. Koonz Prize

This Team in the News

Erika Weinthal Helps Develop New Online Course on Environmental Security for UNEP

Podcast: Figuring It Out, Episode 1: Meghan O’Neil, English

Reflections on Mentoring from Bass Connections Graduate Students

Bass Online Apprentice Develops Diverse Skill Set to Teach Online

Meet the Members of the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

Short Films Examine the Complex Role of Energy Resources in the Aftermath of Conflict

Capturing Energy’s Impact on Film

Meghan O’Neil: My Bass Connections Pathway

Meet the 2015 Koonz Prize Winners

Telling (and Showing) the Role of Energy Resources in Peacebuilding

Time Mapping Ogoniland’s Oil Contamination History

Energy Initiative at 4: New Gains, New Goals, New Era for Energy Research, Education, Engagement

See earlier related team, Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film (2013-2014).

Bass Connections is one of the best experiences I had at Duke. —Maria Prebble

Faculty/Staff Team Members

Elizabeth Milewicz, Duke Libraries & Informational Technology*
Erika Weinthal, Nicholas School - Environmental Sciences & Policy*

Graduate Team Members

Evelyn Lowrey, MFA/Experimental and Doc Arts
Meghan O'Neil, English-PHD
Alayne Potter, Master of Environmental Management, Water Resources Management
Maria Prebble, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy
Shannon Switzer, Master of Environmental Management, Coastal Environmental Management
Erika Zambello, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Science & Conservation
Erika Zambello, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation

Undergraduate Team Members

Raisa Chowdhury, Political Science (AB), Cultural Anthropology (AB2)
Tess Harper, Environmental Sciences (BS), Spanish (AB2)
Kaho Hasegawa, Economics (BS)
Amber Oliver, Earth & Ocean Sciences (BS)
Ian Rofe, Visual Arts (AB)
Jiayi (Cassie) Yuan, Environmental Sciences (BS)

Community Team Members

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

* denotes team leader


Completed, Archived