Climate Fiction writers from around the world reimagine our relationship with nature. With a special appearance from prize-winning author Amitav Ghosh.
This is an online-only event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers are sent a viewing link shortly before the event and are able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.
Can we reimagine our relationship with nature and protect the future? Join the Climate Imagination Fellows, Climate Fiction writers from around the world, to find out. As Glasgow prepares to host the UN Climate Conference (COP26), our panel explores the crucial role of imagination in the fight against climate change.
How can we marshal our collective imagination, accelerate the global transformations required by COP26 and move towards a sustainable way of life? How can we get beyond dystopian visions of climate chaos and focus on more positive, equitable and community-led futures?
With roots in science fiction, Climate Fiction or ‘Cl-Fi’ is now expanding across genres and styles from poetry to thrillers and more experimental work. This vital area of contemporary fiction grapples with climate science, art, politics and technology, seeking to reinvent the way we envisage tomorrow. At this special event Climate Imagination Fellows: Libia Brenda, Hannah Onoguwe and Vandana Singh share stories that bring the future into the present. They will reflect on the essential role of storytelling in thinking through the consequences of our collective decisions and charting a path towards the futures we want to build together.
Chaired by journalist, author and cultural commentator Claire Armistead.
Claire Armitstead was born in south London and spent her early years in northern Nigeria. She is associate editor, Culture, for the Guardian and has worked as arts editor, literary editor and head of books. She presents the weekly Guardian books podcast and is a regular commentator on radio. Claire also leads workshops and chairs literary events in the UK and around the world.
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of non-fiction, a collection of essays and ten novels. His books have won many prizes and he holds four honorary doctorates. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno and Venice film festivals. In 2018 he became the first English-language writer to receive India’s highest literary honor, the Jnanpith Award. His most recent publication is Jungle Nama, an adaptation of a legend from the Sundarban, with artwork by Salman Toor. His new book, The Nutmeg’s Curse; Parables for a Planet in Crisis, a work of non-fiction, is due to be published in October 2021. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, the writer Deborah Baker.
Hannah Onoguwe is a writer based in Yenagoa, Nigeria, a region famous for its oil industry. She has been published in Imagine Africa 500 and Strange Lands Short Stories. In 2014, her collection Cupid’s Catapult was one of ten manuscripts chosen for the Nigerian Writers Series and in 2016 she won the ANA Poetry Competition. In 2020 Hannah was shortlisted for the Afritondo Short Story Prize.
Libia Brenda is a writer, editor and translator based in Mexico City. She is a co-founder of the Cúmulo de Tesla collective that promotes dialogue between the arts and sciences and was the first Mexican woman to be nominated for a Hugo Award for her anthology A Larger Reality/Una realidad más amplia. In 2020, Libia edited the Mexico special issue of the speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons.
Vandana Singh was brought up in New Delhi and lives near Boston, Massachusetts. She is a writer, professor of physics at Framingham State University and an interdisciplinary researcher on the climate crisis. She is the author of two collections, The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet and Other Stories (2014) and Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories (2018) which was a finalist for the Philip K Dick Award.
In collaboration with the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University.
Part of our autumn season on environment, The Natural Word, which celebrates the underrepresented voices harnessing the power of imagination to change the world.
Photograph of Hannah Onoguwe by Greatman Shots.
Picture credit: photo of Amitav Ghosh by Ivo van der Bent
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