Fiction and the Fact of Climate Change - RSA

Fiction and the Fact of Climate Change

Public talks


Great Room, RSA House

  • Climate change
  • Arts and society
  • Environment

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The stories we’ve been told about the arc of human progress are now under question.

We were told we were nearing the end of history; that globalisation would lift millions out of poverty, and that the onward march of time would bring unprecedented peace and stability across the world. But globalisation is delivering on its promises only to a powerful minority, and the result is a global system that our planet can’t sustain.

Internationally acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh visits the RSA to reflect on humanity’s condition in the Anthropocene era, and how the stories we tell can help us understand our place in a drastically changing world. The Booker shortlisted author’s new novel Gun Island addresses the ramifications of our changing climate and here, he talks to the FT's Jonathan Derbyshire about a writer’s responsibility to reflect reality. If the climate catastrophe we’re facing is a collective failure of imagination as well as one of ethics and action, do we need to think beyond the limits of realism to confront the state in which we find ourselves?


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