Climate fiction is a vital tool for producing better planetary futures
The Lancet Planetary Health, January 2021
Given that readers will find themselves currently in the middle of a pandemic, an ongoing climate emergency, and a global economic recession, they might be forgiven for wanting to kick back with a book on the lighter side. Yet across the world, audiences are instead opting to wade deeper into the darkness. It seems counterintuitive that, in an era when the novel seems especially designed for escapist purposes, climate fiction has seen a steep rise in engagement, even as it deals directly with one of the most threatening prospects at this moment in history: the end of life as we know it. Yet fiction's ability to hold a mirror to our collective fears and triumphs in equal measure makes it the ideal instrument for productively grappling with the dizzying possibilities of humans' impact on the place we, for now, call home.
Interview with Joycelyn Longdon: Challenging Colonial Climate Futures
Aligned Magazine, October 2020
AI is a hugely powerful instrument emerging in the climate space, allowing us to make deeply complex predictions about future climate events and more accurately ascertain the biggest problems facing our planet as it warms. Yet these advanced forms of prophecy point directly to events which many Indigenous groups have long been preparing for in a multiplicity of ways, including encouraging crop diversity to avoid pest-borne famine and making careful observations of the surrounding lands to avoid causing imbalances which may continue to snowball many generations later. Indigenous insight, steeped in interaction with and respect for the local environment, is profound. Composed of subtle truths and details that scientists and engineers easily miss, its long-term perspective stands in sharp contrast to the short-term quick fixes so highly favored by our culture of instantaneity. It’s vital that we take this approach to heart if we seek to achieve planet-wide systemic change that our great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy.
The politics of time, space and the rewind
Common Ground, July 2020
The rewind doesn’t just shake up time and space in the club. It has a history that reverberates across history all the way across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, where it flourished among the dance halls of 1960s Jamaica before travelling in the minds and suitcases of Jamaican immigrants to Britain. This is the origin story of soundsystem culture: born in Jamaica, homegrown in the UK, and the proud mother of drum & bass, dub, garage, grime, drill… and showing no signs of slowing its extraordinary birth rate.
The A-Z of climate change
Gallery, December 2019
Climate change is big. So big, in fact, that sometimes it can be hard to grasp. Hearing stories of floods and heatwaves far removed from our little island inspire feelings of pity and powerlessness against a problem too large to be handled in the abstract.
It’s time to bring it home, and take a closer look at the everyday things that climate change is threatening. This A-Z is a wakeup call of what we and our children stand to lose if we don’t get off our collective a**es and take action...
Solastalgia: why so many of us have it
The Mind Map, November 2019
The concept of ‘home’ is difficult to define. For some people, it’s another person; for others, it’s an indefinable feeling. But all of us have places that we call home, whether they’re imbued with childhood familiarity or borne of new attachments made later in our lives.
That connection to a familiar environment brings with it community, identity and comfort – and a sense of permanence, reassuring us that whatever may change in our own lives, home will still be there to welcome us back. But our homes are changing, and the damage it’s doing to our collective psyche is profound...
In the land of the rising sun, climate efforts are falling behind
Uneven Earth, August 2019
At the beginning of the millennium, faced with a capital city susceptible to cataclysmic flooding, the Japanese government poured millions of dollars into the creation of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, the largest underground water diversion system in the world that can divert the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool into the Edo River every two seconds.
But even with the support of the Channel’s miles of tunnels, Tokyo today—not in some distant climate future, but right now—still faces the prospect of a flood severe enough to require the immediate evacuation of up to 1.78 million people...
This summer, go to Goto
Metropolis Japan, March 2019
If you prefer beaches and stars to people and cars, then welcome to Goto: you’ve come to the right place. Scattered off Nagasaki’s coastline, the historic archipelago’s five islands proffer the kind of local charm that’ll transport you far from any kind of madding crowd.
First things first: to get the most out of an island that’s surprisingly hilly for its size, it’s recommended to rent a car. As for staying the night, my top pick is Utojuku Hostel for its comfortable beds and clean facilities, but more particularly, for its double life as a futon shop by day and buzzing bar by night. Say hi to the owner’s dog, Chikuwa...