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How does literature help us to speak out about climate justice?

Joëlle Koorneef
Joëlle Koorneef

"In our programme Writing Climate (In)Justice we investigate how literature can help us speak out about climate injustice," says programme maker Joëlle Koorneef. She brings together domestic and foreign authors who speak out about the climate crisis in their literary work, poetry, literary vlogs, activism or music. Read Joëlle's introduction to Writing Climate (In)Justice here.

In the Writing Climate (In)Justice programme, we investigate how literature can help us speak out about climate injustice. While, from a Western perspective, the climate crisis is still often seen as a problem for the next generation, other parts of the world are already suffering the consequences of man-made climate change. This unbalanced suffering is the reason for climate activists to fight for climate justice. The urgency of this problem is close to the hearts of the participating authors. They are exploring the limits of their language to express this injustice in literary forms.

During Writing Climate (In)Justice we discuss how literature makes these problems visible and helps us to empathize with others. Moderator Fiep van Bodegom will talk to Alexis Wright, an Australian author from the Aboriginal Waanyi Nation. In her novel The Swan Book she describes the great losses of her Aboriginal protagonist in times of extreme climate change. Australia, with its forest fires and dying coral reefs, is a forerunner in experiencing the consequences of the climate crisis: it is therefore an almost dystopian literary setting in which injustices continue to multiply.

After the conversation with Wright, we invite four committed spoken word artists to respond to the theme and a passage from The Swan Book. The British video essayist and poet Leena Norms and the Indian poet Sanam Sheriff will share a creative video contribution and then engage in a video conversation with each other and Fiep van Bodegom. In the studio climate activist and filmmaker Chihiro Geuzebroek and rapper Benjamin Fro will give their passionate talks. We will also discuss with them the link between art and activism and the power of the written and spoken word in the fight for climate justice.

#StillWeRise: Writing Climate (In)justice)
Thursday 14 January 2021, 20:30-21:45 hours, English spoken, more information and tickets.

Posted on: Monday 28 December 2020