Climate Change Fiction: The South Asia Experience (episode 1)

Climate Change Fiction: The South Asia Experience (episode 1)

Date and Time

Date: 17 January 2024

Time: 1 pm GMT/UTC; 6.30 pm IST

About the episode

In this interaction between authors, scholars and activists, we hope to critically explore the reasons for South Asia being foregrounded as a zone for climate catastrophe in recent Western cli-fi (Kim Stanley Robinson, Ministry of the Future, Stephen Markley, The Deluge), as well as discover more about the extent to which this sub-genre has found roots in this region. Amitav Ghosh has led the way in writing novels with this theme (The Hungry Tide, Gun Island), besides critiquing the failure of literary fiction to engage with this set of questions.

Has speculative fiction/cli-fi from South Asia begun tooffer a nuanced and grounded representation of both the survival mechanisms espoused in the face of existential threats and possibilities for resistance and organisation at the grassroots level emerging in the region, as Vandana Singh and others have argued? Can climate change fiction indicate the scope for alternative paradigms emerging at present and in times to come?


Vandana Singh – author, Utopias of the Third Kind; physicist & transdisciplinary scholar of climate change

Anil Menon – author, The Coincidence Plot; Chief Editor, Bombay Literary Magazine

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyaya – Assoc. Prof, Univ of Oslo, and Lead, CoFUTURES

Ashish Kothari – Kalpavriksh, Vikalp Sangam, and Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them.