Rewild Yourself Champion 2024/

Ben Mirin

Ben combines his love of music and birds to create wildlife stories that are accessible and inclusive, showing everyone in the world that their gifts are not only welcome in conservation, but needed. As a bioacoustic researcher, he has traveled the world, documenting the sounds of Nature (some never before recorded) and creating dazzling wild soundscapes and music, many of which featured on his National Geographic children’s television series, ‘Wildbeats’. Ben is currently completing his PHD at Cornell University, researching cultural connections with birdsong in Indonesia, and planning his next adventure!

Check back soon to watch our conversation with Ben Mirin

How does time in Nature, and feeling connected to Nature, help you personally?

“Time in Nature is a gift – one we don’t allow ourselves as much as we deserve. The human species currently suffers from a crisis of belonging; we seek a home, love, family, friendships and a sense of purpose. A lot of priorities have shifted towards profit, maximal extraction of resources, productivity and commoditisation of things – things that often have a life of their own. We forget that we come from Nature; that we are one. That sense of connection gives me peace. It gives me purpose in what can otherwise be an uprooted existence. It grounds me, allows me to heal, to find myself and my sense of purpose.

What advice do you have for people looking for a better connection with Nature?

You don’t need a plane ticket to connect; you can find it in your backyard. Part of a scientific mindset means looking at the same subject everyone else has seen, but in your own way. You have your own goggles for the world, shaped by your own talent, knowledge and experience. Some people have lived in cities their whole lives, but that doesn’t mean that Nature isn’t around them, sprouting through the pavement, singing in the trees. It’s an echo of resilience, even in the most concrete covered places. Nature can find a way, as can we.

 

What changes would you like to see to help more people access Nature and build positive, nurturing relationships with it?

First of all, I think change is clearly needed, but it’s important that we are also forgiving and understanding during the process. I would like to see an end to extractive colonial practices, parachute science and storytelling. One of my favorite researchers, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, has a great quote, “…enough of your conspicuous innocence”. People often try to do good for the world, but it tends to be a cloak for more of the same. We need to hold ourselves accountable, lead with vulnerability and acceptance, integrating perspectives and ideas from marginalized voices into mainstream dialogue. Traditional ecological knowledge has as much a place as western science in describing the world we all share.

 

Find out more about Ben Mirin and his work:

Ben’s Instagram

Ben’s Website

Voice for Nature Foundation

ReWild Yourself is an initiative from the Voice for Nature Foundation, a charity working to reconnect people everywhere with the natural world.

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