The first format, CWE’s «major » (museum quality) exhibit is comprised of two parts:

1) photostories from indigenous communities, (usually six), including individual full size photographs taken by CWE partner/photographer Nicolas Villaume (about 8 panels)

2) a DVD of participatory-video (PV) stories created by local indigenous communities trained in video production by CWE partner Insight Share.

The major exhibit premiered in December 2009, in two locations in Copenhagen, Denmark during the 15th Conference of the Parties (of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-COP 15).

Opening simultaneously to large crowds and rave reviews, it was installed at the historic National Museum of Denmark and at the Klimaforum at the local university, DGI-Byen which hosted an international Non-Governmental Organizations’ (NGOs) COP-15 Conference and Exhibit Space – both located in central Copenhagen.

Mobile exhibition

The second format, CWE’s « mobile » exhibit, is currently comprised of the same photostories from indigenous communities as the « major » exhibit, but in a portable format. Instead of individual full size photographs, each photostory is compressed into a single horizontal panel containing both photographs and captions. The « mobile » exhibit presently contains one introductory panel, six photostory panels and a set of 3 DVDs containing all CWE indigenous community participatory videos for projection/screening on location. The mobile exhibit is currently available in Spanish and English. New versions in other languages (French and Russian in 2011) are to be added.

Bringing together audio, participatory video, photo essays, informative captions, published articles, and interactive touchscreens with web access, Conversations With the Earth (CWE) exhibits create a powerful multi-sensory narrative portrait to convey intimate stories of indigenous peoples’ experience of climate change. The exhibits support in-person presentations by indigenous representatives from the CWE communities.

Beginning in the fall of 2009, CWE’s first multimedia exhibit, Indigenous Voices on Climate Change has been on tour in two formats : « Major » – mostly designed for longer term museum installations ; and «Mobile» – a portable installation to be displayed in communities and at conferences and special events, anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.

Conversation with the Earth artfully blends local knowledge of land and seascapes, media expertise, high-tech tools, and participatory action, to convey intimate stories of climate change. Through good reporting, powerful portraits and interviews, and participatory media, the visitor is immersed in the sounds and the feel of a site and its people, in order to recreate the intimate experiences of listening to a local person. In the process the visitor experiences not only a story about climate change but the means by which the communities tell the story-and indeed the means by which indigenous communities everywhere share knowledge to address problems: conversation.
To recreate the experience of being live and in the field, CWE offers life-sized color portraits, both animated and posed.
Interactive touchscreen and web

The CWE website, which brings the voices, images and stories of indigenous peoples on climate change to the global audience beyond the exhibit, is also accessible at the exhibit. Through a touchscreen, visitors can navigate various indigenous climate-change testimonies around the world, get more in-depth information, access printed articles, and register their own feedback or questions to speakers. The website features an interactive map of the world, which allows the visitor to explore and listen to stories from regional networks near and far.
Talking Portraits and sound
Select photographs allow the narrator to actually talk directly to the visitor via hidden MP3 sound boxes or other devices. The voice, usually field recordings in the original native language, is added either through a loudspeaker near the portrait or a stereo headphones by its side.
Text panels and published work

At the visual heart of the exhibit is a series of photo essays of communities and the issues that affect them. In a photo essay, each photograph offers an informative caption and/or a quote from field recordings, easing the visitor into a deeper understanding of each story displayed. These will be supplemented by informative text panels introducing each of the photo essays separately. In some cases, panels display fuller text or a published article on the story concerned.
Participatory Video Booth
Using a video projector in an alcove with benches, Conversations with the Earth screens a series of films made by indigenous communities about their own experience with climate change, using the participatory video methodology. Cameras in their hands, community members interview their friends and neighbours, men and women, parents and children, youth and elders, to record how climate-change affects their daily lives. The result is a direct testimony, a skillful and custom-crafted narrative, and community-owned media. The 10-minute clips come from the growing Indigenous Media Hubs network that CWE is promoting around the world.