Citizens’ Climate Radio Ep. 51: Art & identity in a time of climate change
Citizens’ Climate Radio is a monthly podcast hosted by CCL volunteer Peterson Toscano. Browse all our past episode recaps here, or listen to past episodes here, and check out the latest episode in the post below.
Those of you who regularly listen to the Citizens’ Climate Radio podcast know the power of art in addressing climate change. Artists take on a unique role in helping the public better understand the many issues connected to climate change. They also play an important part in helping us process our strong emotions about our rapidly changing world.
Poet and climate advocate Clara Fang shares her powerful and moving poem, “The Children on Why They are Striking for the Climate.” She also tells us about the poetry she reads and how it connects her to the natural world. Clara serves as Citizens’ Climate Lobby Student Engagement Coordinator. In her role, she engages students in climate advocacy and helps members conduct outreach to higher education. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of Utah. In the episode, she announces plans to organize a creative writing action group on CCL Community.
Photographer, writer, and climate advocate Princella Talley tells us about the vital role of art in her life and her work. Her interests in visual art and storytelling started at a young age when observing dolphins in the ocean. After a successful career as a professional writer, Princella worked on a freelance writing assignment that ultimately drew her into the world of climate change and her role as diversity outreach coordinator at Citizens’ Climate Lobby. In her conversation with podcast host Peterson Toscano, Princella speaks candidly about the challenges of being a person of color in predominantly white climate spaces.
Before joining the Citizens’ Climate Education team, Princella spent more than a decade as a photographer and writer. She covered topics ranging from climate change and ecotourism to artificial intelligence and mobile app development for major news outlets with more than 60 million online visitors, independent publications, and tech startups in Silicon Valley. She’s written for CBS Las Vegas, worked as a copy editor for a digital publication with 135,000 weekly readers, and created content for a GRAMMYs campaign.
Princella is also a business owner of Louisiana Food Fellow, a cohort of change leaders working within local food systems. In central Louisiana, she partners with community leaders to provide environmental education and implement sustainable and eco-friendly programs in economically disadvantaged communities.
Krista Hiser, PhD, is a professor of composition and rhetoric at Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii. She also directs the Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum within the University of Hawaii system. In the spring she taught the course “Landscapes in Literature—Cli-Fi, Sci-Fi, and the Culture of Sustainability.” In this episode, Dr. Hiser outlines for us the difference between science fiction and climate fiction and provides examples for each. She also raises concerns about the many apocalyptic narratives that flood the Cli-Fi market and that play a prominent role in climate conversations. She believes there are better ways to talk about climate change.
Climate fiction and science fiction discussed in this episode:
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- Generation Z by Peter Meredith
- We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly
- The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi
- A Rain of Night Birds by Dsena Metzger
- Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
- Mr. Eternity by Aaron Thier. Hear him speak and talk about his novel on CCR Ep. 10.
- Code Blue by Marissa Slaven. She discusses the book and does a reading from it in CCR Ep. 33.
We always welcome your thoughts, questions, suggestions, and recommendations for the show. Leave a voicemail at (518) 595-9414 (+1 if calling from outside the USA). You can email your answers to radio @ citizensclimate.org.
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