Climate Change Fiction: A Conversation with Amitav Ghosh (episode 4)

Climate Change Fiction: A Conversation with Amitav Ghosh (episode 4)

Date: 11th May 2024

Time: 1:30 pm GMT/ 7 pm IST

About the episode

Our last three sessions have discussed climate change fiction’s speculative capacities, examined imaginative responses to the alienation between humans and nature through these areas of speculative fiction, and discussed the anthology Ecoceanic: Southern Flows in this context.

In this session, Ashish Kothari of Kalpavriksh and the 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. will be conversing with Amitav Ghosh, celebrated author, about issues such as:

  • What is the range and scope of climate fiction from and on South Asia?
  • What is its potential for influencing actual action on the climate crisis?
  • In the writing of books like The Hungry Tide and Gun Island, what were your main motivations - stimulating and entertaining readers, getting them to think about climate, conservation, justice issues, or something altogether different?
  • What are your thoughts on climate fiction such as 'Ministry for the Future'?


Amitav Ghosh: Born in Kolkata in 1956, Ghosh studied social anthropology at Oxford and divides his time between India and the United States. He has produced a vast body of work, made up of both historical novels and journalistic essays that carry the reader across continents and oceans. Each work is grounded in thorough archival research and succeeds in transcending boundaries and time periods with literary eloquence. Ghosh makes major themes such as migration, diaspora, and cultural identity tangible without ever losing sight of the human dimension.

Ashish Kothari: A founder-member of Indian environmental group Kalpavriksh. He has (co)authored or (co)edited over 30 books, and helps coordinate the Vikalp Sangam and Radical Ecological Democracy processes. He is also part of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives Facilitation team.