Across the Northern Baja Sur Region of Mexico, extreme drought has caused the depletion of water, essential vegetation, medicinal herbs, and wildlife, collectively pushing traditional subsistence communities and their heritage of living off the land to the brink of survival. The starkest example of this is in San Jose de Gracia, a 200 year old, once thriving canyon community of multi-generational families, where now only 21 people remain. This project highlights the uncertainty these communities face as possibly the last keepers of their cultural heritage as climate change upends their way of life and pushes the younger generations out in search of sustainable livelihoods.
Prevailing climate change conversations focus on extreme weather disasters, economics, and the politics of migration. What is missing from that dialogue is the steady erosion of cultures that were shaped by living off of the grid and directly off of the land for hundreds of years. This project will present new research on the impacts of climate change on three communities struggling to survive, and how the changes have presented in their lifetimes. Until We Are Gone will probe the haunting question of what happens to future generations when collective cultural memory is erased, and asks what critical lessons we can learn about perseverance, sustainability and adaptation from these communities as mankind braces itself for more extreme conditions across our planet.