National Geographic Storytelling Grant

Caroline New
2024 Fulbright Semifinalist, Madagascar
“Mapping Climate Change along the Mozambique Channel through Poetry”

  • Archives of the Altamaha (film, 2022)
  • Song at a Burn Site (film, 2021)
  • Slow Coal (film, 2021)
  • Rava/Ruins (slam poetry, 2021)
  • Tantely Tapa-Bata (book, 2020)
  • Of Silver, of Scars (ethnography, 2017)

Archives of the Altamaha

Film, 2022

This film is based on a series of love letters between two legendary swamp monsters in Florida, Altie and Esti (aka Altamahà-hà and Esti Capçaki). In love and separated by geography, the two creatures long for one another in their letters, sharing their fears, memories, discoveries, and desires. In doing so, their letters also document the changing landscapes they inhabit—the aftermath of swamp fires, the remnants of oil spills, and the construction of a nuclear power plant. Overall, this project questions the line between invasive and endangered, finds parallels in different forms of extinction, and seeks to define love beyond gender and time.

Directed, filmed, and edited by Caroline New
Performed by India Gupta and Caroline New

Song at a Burn Site

Film, 2021

Collaborative eco-film that documents the remnants of forest fires in Wyoming, featuring experimental jazz by Michigan musicians.
blog: https://www.tumblr.com/pyrocene

Directed, filmed, & edited by Ellie Schmidt
Performed by Caroline New
Music by Samuel Dunlap, Peter Formanek, Jonathan Letts, and Jacob Patrone

Slow Coal

Film, 2021

Collaborative eco-film that documents a coal mine in Wyoming, featuring experimental jazz by Michigan musicians.
blog: https://www.tumblr.com/pyrocene

Directed and edited by Ellie Schmidt
Filmed by Caroline New and Samuel Dunlap
Music written by Jonathan Letts, performed by Jonathan Letts, Samuel Dunlap, Peter Formanek and Jacob Patrone


Slam Poetry Performance, 2021

Subtitled performance of “Rava” by Ku-Di Art Ntsarety, who was a finalist at Madagaslam 2020, National Slam Poetry Competition in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Written and performed by Ku-Di Art Ntsarery
Translated and subtitled by Caroline New

Tantely Tapa-Bata

Book, 2020

A collection of poems and essays from high school students across Madagascar. Written in Malagasy, French, and English, this collection features the authors’ perspectives on family, love, death, spirituality, studies, and pride for their nation.

Edited and published by Caroline New
Copyedited by Henri Rafidiniaina

Of Silver, of Scars: The Silence of Historical Trauma among the Antankarana of Northern Madagascar

Ethnography, 2017

Researched and written by Caroline New

Abstract: In Madagascar, silence surrounding colonial trauma has justified “positive” relations between the Antankarana people and the French by displacing blame onto the Merina ethnic group.  Based on ethnographic research conducted in the city of Ambilobe, this study explores how Antankarana trauma is passed down through normalized sensory experience, or silenced by lack thereof.  While Merina trauma is embodied, the French trauma has been abstracted from the body by its absence in Malagasy ancestral systems and continuation through different mediums of memory.  This study calls for critical consideration of how embodiment interacts with historical trauma and how this shapes postcolonial ethnic relations, calling for attention to the body’s daily interaction with memory and systems of power.

Images below are two photo series which accompanied this ethnography
Photographed by Caroline New

Life in Ambilobe

A Remembrance in Beramanja