BCA 2022: Living the Climate Disaster

...to face the unfolding climate disaster as humans...

There is a dimension to climate disaster that is largely absent from the macro scientific, historical, and economic narratives—they tend to overlook the impact upon us as humans in regards to our emotions, feelings, hopes and fears. We believe that this dimension merits thought and discussion. Within each macro narrative is a complex, woven tapestry of smaller, personal stories that shape the life of our communities, and that of our families, friends and ourselves.

It is precisely these stories—contemplating quotidian dilemmas in the time of catastrophe—that teach us how to face the unfolding climate disaster as humans. A thread of different sensitivities seems to run through them, and they are motivated by different types of questions than the ones that may concern scientists and experts.

At 2022 BCA, we would like to follow this thread and see where it takes us. A thread, which places us within and not outside those changes; understands us not as spectators, but as participants. A train of thought that overcomes the divide between the disaster out there and our lives right here, between us and the surrounding nature.

We believe that no medium is better equipped to convey such a perspective than literature. Literature, and especially the novel, has long been a space for addressing big issues on a human scale, for coming up with new worlds and vistas, for performing exercises in imagination. It is no different today, as it helps us humanize the experience of climate disaster.

This is why at BCA 2022 we would like to read texts which narrate climate disaster from a personal and engaged standpoint. Such a shift in perspective does not mean turning a blind eye to the disaster’s scientific, historical and economic aspects. Rather, it encourages us to translate those aspects into our everyday life. It is an invitation to peel them out of their abstract skin and focus instead on how we live through them, how we make sense of them, and how we react to their challenges.

Guided by this intuition, we have selected the following texts for our curriculum for the 2022 BCA: