I’m excited to share here that Dry Tears, a dance video about climate change has won an award from Group on Earth Observation contest during their Climate Conference celebrated last November 2021.

Dry Tears

Earth dances in circles and cycles. As she spins, so do I; and as she suffers, so do I.

Tiles of parched earth paint a fractal dancefloor where I whirl. Pinned to my spot in the cosmos, I seek to transmute my grief into active hope. Into an ineffable transformational power.

Each turn brings me closer to myself, echoing the nested orbits of planets, stars, and galaxies, and the spirals of life all around me, and all inside of me.

There is a one-syllable-word that I refuse to utter. A word that brings dry tears to my eyes. It speaks of passing clouds that bear no fruit. Of dry winds that loft plumes of dust into the air. Of shriveling plants and screaming trees. Of fishbones scattered over empty lake beds.

Grandma says it’s never been this bad. At night she sits on her porch and watches satellites fly across the starry night. The old radio announces clear skies and no forecast of rain. Temperatures will be on the rise. She, too, won’t utter the one-syllable word. A word that tastes like wildfire smoke and chapped lips. A word that brings dry tears to her eyes, to my eyes, to millions of eyes.

Tears are invisible from above, let alone from space, let alone dry tears. But these tears can be felt and heard and tasted and smelled everywhere these days.

Earth dances in circles and cycles. As she spins, so do I; and as she suffers, so do I. Each turn brings me closer to the ineffable power that lurks behind every dry tear, echoing the planetary dances, the atmospheric dances, the eddies, the nested whirling of ocean currents and tradewinds.

How many more turns before our grief becomes active hope?
This video was filmed on a dried lake on Sacramento’s river watershed during a severe drought in California (2011-2019).


Dance: Raquel Santiago
Camera: Velcrow Ripper & Nova Ami
Video Edition: Raquel Santiago
Music:Silhouettes by Tambour [Moderna Records] ModernaRecords.bandcamp.com/album/silhouettes