Waterworld

 
 
 

A growing number of science fiction authors are talking about global warming overtly, imagining futures full of flooded cities, droughts, melting icecaps, and other disasters. There is even a new label used for this, climate fiction or "cli-fi".

Shelley Streeby, a professor from the University of California recently published an extensive analysis of the role of speculative fiction in imagining the future of climate change. She reviewed the various activists, artists, and science fiction writers that, from the 1960s to the present, have imagined the consequences of global warming and its impacts on our future. Authors such as Octavia Butler and Leslie Marmon Silko, movie directors such as Bong Joon-Ho, and creators of digital media such as the makers of the Maori web series Anamata Future News have all envisioned future worlds during and after environmental collapse, engaging audiences to think about the earth’s sustainability. As public awareness of climate change has grown, so has the popularity of works of climate fiction that connect science with activism.

In this episode Joana Bertholo and Giuseppe Porcaro dive into cli-fi and imagine the impact of global warming on the coastal areas of Europe. We are a hundred years from now and geography has changed. The sea level has risen and the coastline of our continent has heavily changed.

How would this new geography of Europe look like?

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Joana Bértholo is a novelist and a play-writer based in Lisbon, after living abroad for many years, in Europe and South America, with a highlight to the year spent in Buenos Aires, volunteering at Eloisa Cartonera, a very special book publisher that works with the «cartoneros», urban waste scavengers, and their hand-made books. Joana pursues a wide scope of interests through writing, using both the book as the stage and a platform to investigate ecology, technology, sustainability, narratives, among other topics. She has published three novels, two books of short stories and a children’s book with Editorial Caminho, one of the most prestigious Portuguese publishing houses; as well as other texts with other publishers in different collections and anthologies. Her latest novel is titled «Ecologia» (Ecology) and is set in a near future where the commodification of society reaches a point that language is privatised and we begin to pay for the words we use.

Giuseppe Porcaro is the author of DISCO SOUR, a novel about Europe and democracy in the age of algorithms, among the winners of the Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outrech of the European Union in 2018. Giuseppe is interested in how the intersection between technology and politics is moving towards uncharted territories in the future. He also focuses on narrative-building and political representations in the European Union. He works as the head of communications for Bruegel.