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Avatar eBook

The Resurgence & Ecologist editors are putting together a new series of ‘e-books’, designed to bring together articles grouped around particular themes. The aim is to inform thinking by providing further reading on topics covered in the magazine using pieces written by inspirational, knowledgeable and respected contributors.

These e-books will be available as free downloads, and can be used for reference, interest or to pass on and share with others. We hope you will find them useful. The first e-book that we have put together looks at the issues covered in James Cameron’s epic film Avatar, and provides inspiration for people wanting deeper analysis of the message the film carries for our time and our world.

Sowing seeds of respect for a truly global community

James Cameron’s Avatar has captured the imagination of millions of people around the globe. The phenomenal success of this epic is due to more than just 3D cinematography and stunning scenery. Cameron’s story, whilst set on the distant planet of Pandora, is assembled from profound statements about the state of our society. This free download delves deeper into some of the main themes you can find in the film, bringing together a collection of unique articles from the magazine.

You can read these articles individually, or...

Unlocking Pandora • keys for a truly satisfying and sustainable future

Here are the key insights that this bundle sheds light on:

A sense of place

The natives in Avatar (Na’vi) revered sacred sites on their land and understood the vital role these places played in maintaining the health and wisdom of their culture. Similarly, here on earth, Indigenous people have been warning those involved in the military-industrial complex that the accumulated effect of constantly breaking spiritual, energetic and ecological laws will lead inevitably to social, economic and ecological chaos.

Being aware of our interconnectedness

The people of Pandora were aware of an invisible, wise force or energy called Eywa which permeates and connects the whole universe. Just like the Na’vi’s concept of Eywa, The Gaia Hypothesis, which was originally proposed by James Lovelock, is frequently described as viewing the Earth as a single living organism. By consciously acknowledging the interconnectedness of the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth, humans will be more likely to design a lifestyle which keeps the whole system in balance.

Respecting Nature

The Na’vi lived in ‘Home Tree’; their lives, families and ancient traditions were all centred here. For the humans, none of that mattered - precious resources underneath the tree was reason enough to destroy a whole way of life. Trees are life givers, providing us with resources, cooling the air, binding soil, and most importantly acting as a carbon sink and a manufacturer of oxygen. However, trees are under threat, and we are destroying the life-support system they provide. We need to redress the ecological imbalance, so our human rights are not superior to the rights of all other species on the planet.

Biocultural Diversity

When asked, “What is the film saying to society at large?”, James Cameron replied that it asks us questions about “our relationship with the natural world at a time of nature deficit disorder.” A recurring theme throughout the film was the equal value placed on all living beings by the people of Na’vi.

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Also available as a free download


We have produced a special supplement featuring articles on climate change, resilience and reforestation.