All posts tagged: Environmental Justice

Content with dealing concepts or instances of environmental justice.

Terrace Fields in Yunnan China

Out of the Wild: A Conversation between Pollan and Cronon

Have you ever read something where the author articulated precisely the ideas that you’ve been trying to work out in your own mind for ages? Have you ever felt that flash of recognition, that chill of goosebumps, and obeyed that urge to nod along and shout “yes!” out loud? And once the giddiness subsides, have you ever felt that sinking realization that someone managed to conveyed those ideas better than you ever could have? I recently had that experience with a piece from Orion Magazine. “Out of the Wild” features a conversation between authors Michael Pollan and William Cronon as they chat about many of the ideas I’ve been grappling with on Ekostories: Concepts of nature and culture, the power of stories for change, the importance of personal sustainability. Regular readers will know that I’ve written a few essays on Pollan’s work, namely on Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education and The Botany of Desire, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed his contributions to this piece. But in my opinion it was Cronon, an environmental …

The Age of Solastalgia

Glenn Albrecht, creator of the term solastalgia that I discussed in last week’s entry of Jeannie Baker’s work, speaks about the concept in further detail in a recent piece: The Age of Solastalgia On the origins of the term: Solastalgia has its origins in the concepts of “solace” and “desolation”. Solace has meanings connected to the alleviation of distress or to the provision of comfort or consolation in the face of distressing events. Desolation has meanings connected to abandonment and loneliness. The suffix -algia has connotations of pain or suffering. Hence, solastalgia is a form of “homesickness” like that experienced with traditionally defined nostalgia, except that the victim has not left their home or home environment. Solastalgia, simply put, is “the homesickness you have when you are still at home’”. The causes of solastalgia: The challenge of recognising and responding to the experience of solastalgia is greater than ever. Unfortunately, small scale, local damage is still happening to loved home environments as globalisation homogenises urban and rural landscapes. Regional solastalgia is produced under the impact …

Children and Environmental Tragedies

My last entry touched briefly on the appropriateness of exposing children to environmental tragedies and injustices. Today, I came across a gem of a passage in an essay by Ursula K. Le Guin. Titled The Child and the Shadow, it explored the importance of myths, fairy-tales, and coming of age stories in confronting the shadow in all of us, represented by the other side of the psyche and is the dark brother of the conscious mind. The particular passage that caught my eye came as Le Guin ruminates on ways to effectively convey difficult and mature subjects to children. She focuses on the notion of evil, which she describes as “all the pain and suffering and waste and loss and injustice we will meet all our lives long, and must face and cope with over and over and over, and admit, and live with, in order to live human lives at all.” The following are her thoughts; I bolded the parts I found most interesting: “But what, then, is the naturalistic writer for children to …

Metaphor Crafters: The Beehive Collective

Continuing with the theme of visual storytelling from my previous post, I would like to share an Orion article looking at artwork created by the Beehive Collective. Where Narrative meets Activism, by Susanne Antonetta On the power and prevalence of visual narratives in modern advertising: “Anyone who has been to a medieval church understands the shivery power of visual storytelling: the spires stretching up to heaven, gargoyles whose ferocity wards off the ever-present threat of evil. Nowadays, we’re steeped in the seductive visuals of advertising, like the images of nature that sell us unrelated consumer goods: breaching whales for insurance; canoe rides between cliffs for a herpes drug. As imagery from all media feeds our imaginations, it grows more and more controlled by those who have a vested interest in how it’s perceived—government, mainstream news and entertainment, the corporations that want us to buy their products and ignore their transgressions.” A description of the artwork – True Cost of Coal: “The visual power of the banner offers a clear and intricate story that draws the …

Climate Voices Climate Change Documentary

6 Billion Others: Climate Voices

“I don’t believe there’s a climate change. I know there’s a climate change. [chuckles] Because I’ve lived off the land most of my life, and I see what’s happening out there on the land, especially in the northern region of the Yukon. I see how the permafrost is melting, how lakes are going dry, how the water’s low…” – Gentleman from the Yukon Territories in Canada, Climate Voices We can encounter compelling stories in the most unexpected of places. I stumbled across Climate Voices on a flight home from a long and emotionally draining trip.  Unable to sleep after watching an entire season of No Reservations, I noticed the short film while flipping thorough the documentary section. Initially hesitant to watch an educational film in my sleep-deprived state, I decided to give it a chance after realizing the hours of insomnia that lay ahead of me. What I discovered was a remarkable series of personal stories from people across the world.

Literature as a way of seeing

I came across an interesting post on how stories can help both the writer and the reader see the world in a different light: Literature as a way of seeing, by Helon Habila On art and seeing: “Art, and indeed life itself, is a way of seeing. There is looking at a thing, and then there is seeing a thing; the two are totally different. We look with our eyes, but it takes more than eyes to really see. This is a subject I find myself coming back to over and over again in my writing and in my thinking; and I find that, as a metaphor, it can be extended to most everyday situations. Oppression and poverty have always been with us, but how many among us can claim to have really seen the poor and the powerless, not just look at them, but truly see them?” The motivations of a writer: “The writer enlarges our sympathies by making us see ourselves better, but first he must see himself better in his own work. …