North-South Climate Futures

North-South Futures is a three year PhD project conducted by Marta Mboka Tveit, part of the ScienceFictionality reserach project. It is a comparative cultural project, taking a ecocritical look at pan-African and Norwegian speculative texts and cultural contexts, focusing on climate futures. What can come out of comparing climate-changed futures in fiction?

The planetary challenges of our time are being gazed upon through the prisms of diverse cultures. Folks are looking at the same overhanging threats but do not necessarily see the same things. What we see through our prisms is always already culturally and historically situated. What we see affects our imaginations and imaginaries of the future, which again has tangible effects on the presents we are currently building.

<a href="">North-South Futures</a>“The other side” by Jacque Njeri 2021 (Kenyan visual artist, photo from Instagram)

Looking at texts from contexts that are far apart in many respects can be extremely fruitful because it allows us a clearer view of the culturally-based assumptions and premises that underlie the production of each. Since most of the cultural production examined here is made for worldwide audiences this becomes a study of comparative localized transculturality. Comparison can reveal aspects of each text, and of each cultural context, which would otherwise have remained hidden.

Artifacts orbiting futures, and the people who create them, can tell us something about how climate change is comprehended, contemplated, reimagined in different cultural contexts. What kind of work is worldling and futuring doing in culturally constructing climate change? We need to further understand what “wicked problems” look like through (g)local prisms, in order to better comprehend action (or lack thereof) in the present.