Climate scientists use models and graphs and maps to tell us what the world might be like in times to come – but telling us what life in those worlds might be like is the role of literary writing. In all of its forms and genres, fiction imagines and depicts the human – and, sometimes, the nonhuman – experience. In the case of climate change, stories can bring the abstract trends and statistics of climate science to life by presenting the manifold textures of the human perspective. Fiction making is an inherently speculative practice. Future-oriented fiction tasks us to conceive, anticipate and authorise subjective accounts of life being lived in circumstances different from our own. This isn’t (just) about new gadgets or dystopic disasters; it’s about the challenges of living in a world that, at present, we can only imagine.
But all lives are lived differently, and every perspective is unique: there is no “The Future”, but many imagined futures, plural and unevenly distributed in space and time alike. We believe that by surveying such imagined futures, we can learn a lot about the ways in which we might live in a warming world.
That’s why the Climaginaries research project in cooperation with the Narrating Climate Futures initiative is hosting a climate fiction competition: we want to curate a small collection of stories whose narratives depict and explore a climate-changed world. We’re open to a variety of formats: short stories, screenplays, art and design fictions, and comics.
The submission deadline has passed and the selection process has begun. Go to the webpage of the Anthropo-scenes competition for more information.