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Special Event

Art & Activism of the Anthropocene Series: Don't Shoot the Messenger: The Challenging Narratives of Climate Change

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 6:30 PM
| Open to the public | Members' Room | free of charge | advance registration required

Climate change is no longer a mere possibility—it's already happening. Glaciers are melting, animal and plant populations are failing, and agricultural practices no longer prevent famine. Around the world, scientists, artists, and activists are addressing climate change in media from nonfiction books to documentary films to live theater. This series brings together writers, journalists, and artists in robust discussion on how they address climate change—and why their work is important in the Anthropocene Era.

Scientists, journalists, and artists agree that more needs to be said and written publicly about climate change, but there's little agreement on how best to have those conversations. These panelists approach climate-change dialogues through different mediums—book-length and magazine journalism, and through theatre. All three also engage in firsthand research to find stories worth telling. They'll discuss their approach to gathering stories, their thoughts on why those stories matter, and the challenges they've faced when shaping issues of climate change into digestible narratives for the public.

William T. Vollmann is an award-winning novelist, journalist, war correspondent, and essayist whose latest two-volume project, Carbon Diaries, explores the causes of climate change.

Chantal Bilodeau is the artistic director of the Arctic Cycle, an organization dedicated to creating plays that foster dialogue about climate change. thearcticcycle.org

David Wallace-Wells writes about climate and society for New York magazine.


To register, contact the Library Events Office at events@nysoclib.org or 212.288.6900 x230. Library members may also click below to register online.


The Art & Activism of the Anthropocene series takes place over three dates:

Don't Shoot the Messenger: The Challenging Narratives of Climate Change (April 11) with William T. Vollmann, Chantal Bilodeau, and David Wallace-Wells
Strange Reality: The Art and Activism of Transitional Environments (April 19) with Jeff VanderMeer, Zaria Forman, Gleb Raygorodetsky, and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Imagining the Impossible: The Role of Art and Novels in Understanding Climate Change (May 9) with Amitav Ghosh, Helen Phillips, and Nathan Kensinger

This event is co-produced by the Library and Guernica Magazine, with additional support from Orion Magazine.