Earlwood Farm Presents Read before Burning

Do you remember the scene in The Day After Tomorrow in which Jake Gyllenhaal is burning all the books in the New York Public Library in order to survive the apocalypse? This event pools our collective knowledge to think about stories, poems, fantasies and fictions that might have been in those books and briefly reflect on how they imply an alternative future or, at the very least, equip us with some imaginative tools to think about climate change in a different way. The story might not even be about the climate or weather or freezing tidal waves or science. At this event we ask participants to bring forward texts that explore less obvious, but nevertheless important aspects of the environmental crisis as represented in printed text.*

It is the second event in the series “Earlwood Farm presents…” at Verge Gallery exploring different art forms and their capacity to represent environmental issues and mobilise political thought and action.

The Details:
WHERE: Verge Gallery – University of Sydney
WHEN: Saturday 15th August, 2015 from 11.00am-12.30pm
PERKS: Mini-brunch! Croissants and coffee will be provided.

More background:
The term “cli-fi” has started gaining traction in publishing and academic circles. “Cli-fi” is genre fiction about climate change. Recently, Stephanie LeMenager, provoked us to trouble genre and think about all writing as a form of “cli-fi”. But it made me think of this question: if everything is “cli-fi”, what writing (fiction or non-) represents some of the more important contours of the environmental crisis?

This event hopes to crack open the question by inviting participants to offer up something they think represents an important aspect of the environmental crisis. What have you read that has triggered a thought about climate change or some related issue, but might not be an obvious candidate for a Nature writing award? We will collect the stories shared at this event and bring them together in an online archive. If it goes well, we might do it again and make that archive bigger.

We have invited some people to respond formally, so come and listen to what they have to say. That said, anyone is free to take on the challenge.

– Bring a story, poem, novel, film or work of creative non-fiction (or less “formal” creative publications such as online blog posts, articles, creative non-fictions) – *obviously film is not printed text, but it is an important part of the mix!

– Share the work by reading (if it is less than five minutes) or describing/summarising if it is a longer piece

– Explain why you think we should read this before burning

– Provide us with a link to the text or scan of the book cover to collect in an archive (if this inaugural event goes well we might have more).

– You will have the floor for a maximum of 10 minutes. Less is more.

– For more information contact jennifer at earlwood farm dot com