Noémie Nélis / Assistant

Unamur / English literature

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

In recent years, climate change has become a burning issue in all fields of expertise, literary studies included. In my PhD dissertation, I investigate the extent to which literary authors represent the consequences of global warming, in an attempt not only to mirror society, but to help shape it. In forcing their readers to imagine an apocalyptic future, they attempt to spur us into action; in truly showing us what might happen, they force us to wonder about personal and collective agency and responsibility.
Personally, I was spurred into action after working on David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, whose final part describes, in extremely realistic terms, the year 2043, when the Internet has crashed, electricity is virtually non-existent, and mass immigration, violence and terror are commonplace. The fear and anxiety that permeate the book were painfully recognizable and relatable.
As a result, I have been trying to make changes to my busy and comfortable lifestyle: 1) I have not bought a single item from a supermarket in months: instead, I shop at the local cooperative store, and I make sure I don’t spend more on food than I used to by, simply, buying less. 2) My husband and I have been trying to go zero-waste: in 7 months, we have put out the bin twice. It is much easier than we thought, and has also helped us save money. 3) We have drastically reduced our meat consumption. The little meat we still eat is organic, and from the local farmer’s. 4) I have recently decided that I was going to sell my car – and not buy a new one.
To be able to take all of this to the next step, we are also desperately counting on politicians. Simply put, we want them – and all of us! – to be brave enough to implement the drastic changes that are necessary to respond to the climate crisis.

Originally posted 2018-05-13 09:51:38.