Published: “Chasing Revolution”

A short photo essay, “Chasing Revolution,” with North Online, a sharp Australian art/travel website, outlines a larger creative work in progress, and close to finished.

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A month ago I was approached by the Senior Editors of North Online Magazine, a sharp art/travel website out of Australia. They asked me for some words + photos so I put together this short piece, “Chasing Revolution,” which was published this morning.
Read here. 

Published: “Four Directions of Standing Rock”

Check out my latest piece on the intense and short supply run I made to Standing Rock, ND, site of the largest inter-tribal protection of the sacred in modern history.

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There’s something up ahead blocking the highway. Look: Lights. Glowing like a football stadium. Military checkpoint.

“Hi, officer. We’re off to, uh, Fort Yates. That’s it. What’s all this for?”

Stupid question. He knows why we’re here, why my housemate Harrison and I are pulling up at 1 a.m. outside Bismarck, North Dakota, with a truck full of supplies.

“Oh, up ahead 20 miles we’ll find a protest?” I say. Officer peers into my truck.

“Supplies,” he murmurs to the soldier on his left. Won’t look me in the eyes though I’ve tried twice. Hard when he’s gripping a semiautomatic. “Move on through. Careful up ahead.”

Read the full article here. 

Featured Story in California Paper

My hometown newspaper in Calaveras County, Northern California, ran a well-written story  on some of the adventures I’ve been up to since graduating high school. 

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Nick Triolo is a man on the move. An author, teacher and internationally recognized activist, the 32-year-old endurance runner finds peace and purpose by literally putting one step in front of the other.

A successful and affable student-athlete at Bret Harte High School, the 2001 graduate participated in sports, music and student government – all pursuits that ultimately influenced his future.

“At Bret Harte, I didn’t want to be pigeonholed by any particular clique, so I made inroads with just about everyone,” Triolo said about his “super-active” Bullfrog days. “High school was where I really cranked up my industriousness, getting involved in everything I could.”

Thanks so much! Grateful. Read the entire article. 

Published: “Thaw” in Camas Magazine

My essay, “Thaw,” was included in the Summer 2016 issue of Camas Magazine, with the theme of REVOLUTION.

Summer+2016+Cover_webAs Senior Editor for Camas Environmental Literary Magazine back in 2014-2015, I learned so much about print publication, about curating works and editorial etiquette. Camas, in my opinion, remains one of the sharpest, most beautiful environmental publications out there, and it’s featured some of the best writers in the game, along with ambitious, lesser-known authors. This summer, my essay “Thaw” was selected as a nonfiction feature. The piece is about a ten-hour sit-in demonstration I organized for the first day of the COP21 Paris Climate Talks. Below you’ll find the first two pages. Consider subscribing or gifting Camas to someone you love. It’s a vital and necessary resource for imagining new possibilities in the world, and we need this more than ever right now.

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Thaw

A nagging bladder causes the Congolese delegate to squirm. He tries to shift focus away from his midsection and redirect it upward, towards his head. Jetlagged from recent travels, the man’s attire covers up the fatigue: shiny, pointed shoes; socks embroidered with shapes of wildlife; white cuffs poking a quarter-inch from under a black designer suit; a platinum watch at the hinge of his wrist. The delegate’s legs reorganize from spread to crossed as he props his head up with an index finger to concentrate.

November 30th, 2015. 2:45 P.M.

La Charante Conference Hall. Le Bourget. Paris, France.

The temperature outside flirts into the sixties, atypical for winter’s eve in the City of Light. It’s day one of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Conference of Parties, COP21, a twelve-day event attracting 38,000 participants from 190 countries to confront what many believe to be the most pressing issue of our time: a runaway climate. The delegates converge in Paris to broker a deal for acceptable global temperature rise and emission controls.

Fastened atop the conference is an enormous hardhat of security, its layers woven in Kevlar and barbed wire. The 120,000 policemen and gendarmes on duty nearly match the numbers summoned for the 1944 allied invasion of Normandy. In a way, our own bodies should be first to accept these precautions, as they too are designed for defense: ribcage for the heart, skull for the brain, and twenty square feet of skin to keep it all from spilling onto the sidewalk.

But COP21 security is different. It’s exhaustive, with reinforced walls and rooms guarded by thousands, all watching, listening and sniffing, while still tasting the metallic tang of vengeance following terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 dead only weeks ago. COP21 enters its first day as a janitor crew at the Bataclan Concert Hall wire-scrubs purple bloodstains from General Admission.

High above the cleaning crew, thin-nosed drones fly by with their rotating cameras, while anti-aircraft missiles point in all directions. Beyond the drones, satellites hover stationary like caddisflies at dusk to watch every movement from space. The surveilled include not only delegates but the thousands of climate activists nearby, recently informed of France’s State of Emergency, that all public demonstrations are banned.

Despite this prohibition, the world marched. Over the previous two days, three quarters of a million people in 175 countries marched in 2,300 events. In London, 50,000. In Sydney, 45,000. In Madrid, 20,000. A teacher from the Marshall Islands, a South Pacific nation drowning from sea level rise, walked on stage in London to read a poem for her daughter in front of thousands. In Nanyuki, Kenya, hundreds of citizens marched along the equator. In Chile, a group shuffled in solidarity across a glacier near the country’s southern tip.

Paris had been muzzled, but the world hadn’t.

A fractured sun drops behind the city’s arrondiseements, twenty districts that spiral numerically clockwise out from the city’s navel—the Louvre. Light bounces off high-rise windows from the financial district to the north, its skyscrapers peering into the cuts and curls of Paris’ Hausmannian architecture so revered by the romantic, the revolutionary, and the poet.

But COP21 isn’t poetic. If it’s attempting to be, the stanzas don’t work. The metaphors don’t pop; they read clunky and synthetic. Most delegates don’t exude the passion Parisian lovers might. They don’t smell of cognac and cigarettes but more like dry-cleaning and hand sanitizer. Plastered along these conference hallways is a different type of poetry, the sharp-fonted edge of corporate song. BNP Paribas, a French multinational bank and one of the largest in the world, has billions of investment dollars in coal-fired plants. Another, Engie, is Europe’s largest importer of natural gas. Other sponsors include Coca-Cola, BMW, and Dow Chemicals. It’s as if Budweiser and Coors were sponsoring a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving convention.

The Congolese man leaves and returns to his seat holding a hot beverage. His shoes squeak at each step. A few heads swivel. Perhaps he doesn’t worry about his brief absence because there are 300 other colleagues from the Democratic Republic of Congo in attendance, all focusing on piped-in translations of the current speaker on stage.

At least this is how I imagine it all going.

This is how I imagine COP21 from 5,000 miles away in Missoula, Montana. This is how I imagine the single most important convergence of world leaders and activists to agree on solutions for a livable planet, the same planet I’m sitting on now, alone, cross-legged and overtaken by an uncontrollable shiver in this pre-dawn, subzero dark.

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In Photo: Silent Demonstration for Climate Action

On Monday, November 30th, the first day of the Paris COP21 climate negotiations, friend and fellow climate activist Will Genadek and I decided we’d join in on the people’s action.

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On the first day back from Thanksgiving Break, a friend and I decided to join in solidarity to the climate actions happening in Paris for COP21. Using sunup to sundown as our thresholds (10 hours, 7am-5pm) we sat in silence without any food, in the middle of the Oval at the University of Montana, Missoula. On the hour, we would walk the circular perimeter six times, to represent our planet’s six mass extinctions, the current one being triggered by us, humans.

The experience was heavy, difficult at times, sometimes boring, always frozen, and, in the end, absolutely beautiful. My toes are still waxy and red as it was 0 degrees Fahrenheit when we got up. The temperatures remained south of 15 degrees all day. Hundreds of students stopped to read our small leaflets. We chose to not have large signs or social media events or much planning. It was an experiment in spontaneous action from the heart.

We found that this actually disarmed a lot of people, made them come closer, made them engage. Some walked around the perimeter with us. Some told us we were crazy. Some thanked us. Some took photos, one of which somehow made it to the Congolese delegate at the Paris talks. Dogs ran into our laps and licked our faces. Small children would approach and ask: “Mommy, what are they doing?” We would wave; they waved back, smiling always.

These moments made me tear up, but then I thought tears might possibly freeze my eyelids shut so I held them back.

All day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the future. I listened to footsteps coming and going all day. Footsteps in, footsteps out. Thousands of footsteps. I thought about what kind of world our children are inheriting, what I’m leaving them with, what planet they’ll be walking into? With recent shootings in San Bernardino, California (ten minutes from my alma mater, the University of Redlands; I worked a mile from the massacre site) and more U.S. shootings than days of year in 2015, prayer is indeed powerful and necessary, but it’s not enough. We need to act, to demonstrate peace and restraint towards violence against ourselves and towards the planet. Now.

More words and actions to come. Here are some images from the day, by two wonderful photographers and powerful women, Alex Wardwell and Anna Schreck. Thanks to everyone who encouraged us to keep going.

Let’s keep going.

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Photo: Anna Schreck

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Cold Water: Reflections of Baja

A short, 4-minute film update “Cold Water: Reflections of Baja,” expressing gratitude for all the support for our documentary “The Crossing.”


Super excited to share with you “Cold Water: Reflections from Baja,” a short, 4-minute update and thank you for all the supporters of our film “The Crossing.” Includes some great video from our Spring 2015 screening at the Todos Santos International Film Festival, giving a $1000 scholarship for Ecology Project International in Mexico, and me awkwardly attempting to play the ukulele. Thanks again everyone for helping make this project happen. It’s been incredibly powerful. Much more to come.

 

“The Crossing” Short Documentary Film Debut

This might be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. So humbled and proud to finally share with you our short film, “The Crossing,” a 21-minute documentary about a protest I helped organize against open-pit gold mining in Baja, Mexico. Directing this film was so beautiful and difficult and time-consuming and…deeply fulfilling. The biggest ups to Mike and Alex (and Zoe!) at Ë Media. You took kindling and made a bonfire. So, here it is. I give to you, “The Crossing.” This will be only available for one month, as we will take it down at the end of August to submit to film festivals. Please watch when you have space, then share share share it with the world; I fiercely believe the planet needs more stories like these. Dedicated to all that remains untamed and free.

“The Crossing” © 2014 from Michael Hanich on Vimeo.