On Climate Change, Artists ‘imagine World Otherwise’

Between 2010 and 2013, the southern U.S. and Mexico experienced a historic drought. Said to be the worst in 70 years, the drought hit Mexico particularly hard, causing food and water shortages. Many migrated.

This drought and its effects prompted scholar Carolyn Fornoff, who is from Texas, to think about how artists and filmmakers in Mexico document environmental issues.

In her book “Subjunctive Aesthetics: Mexican Cultural Production in the Era of Climate Change,” Fornoff, assistant professor of Latin American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, explores how contemporary Mexican writers, filmmakers and visual artists have reacted to climate change – and to an incongruous approach to the crisis by a Mexican government that has positioned itself as a leader in the fight against climate change while escalating extractions.

“In contrast with the mainstream media, I found that art and literature were better able to connect the dots between local manifestations of climate change and their global causes, from the legacies of colonialism to current fossil-fuel emissions,” Fornoff said.

The book is featured in a Chats in the Stacks event on March 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Olin 107 and online.

Read the College of Arts and Sciences interview with Fornoff.

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