News

[Banerjee’s] exacting nature studies have made him a notable figure in the environmental movement. His three photographs here are big in scale, in spirit, in impact [Seeing Glacial Time: Climate Change in the Arctic exhibition at the Tufts University Art Gallery]. They’re magnificent, really. He concentrates on animal life: reindeer, migratory birds, caribou. The most striking image in a show full of striking images may be his photograph of caribou migrating in the snow. Seen from above, they look like ants atop sugar or cotton. This isn’t a bird’s–eye view. It’s a God’s–eye view. From that perspective, humans look no less insect–like. All are God’s creation, though only some have stewardship.
—Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe, 10 February 2014

An Ode to Seasons for Peter Matthiessen
by Subhankar Banerjee, ClimateStoryTellers, 6 April 2014

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Do you know about Peter Matthiessen?

Maybe you’ve read one or more of his many unforgettable books. Snow Leopard, perhaps? Or maybe, Shadow Country? Both, one non–fiction and the other an epic novel, had won the National Book Award. The list of books he wrote is rather long. You may have read more of his books than I have.

Peter Matthiessen passed away on Saturday, at his home in Sagaponack, New York. He was 86. I’m sure you will read about him in many places now.

CONTINUE READING STORY  

Ecocultural Resistance Defeats Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plan—for Now!

On 30 January 2014, Shell announced that the company has shelved its plan to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014. The Inupiat community, in partnership with environmental organizations, had filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Interior, for not properly evaluating the environmental impacts of drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The US Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit agreed; handed us a victory, following which Shell shelved its 2014 drilling plan. READ THE ARCTICLE ON COMMON DREAMS  

For more information on the campaign to stop Shell’s Arctic drilling, see my essay “BPing the Arctic?” (READ ONLINE   ) in the paperback edition of the anthology, Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point (Seven Stories Press, 2013); and my letter to the editor “Can Shell Be Stopped?” (READ ONLINE   ) in The New York Review of Books (6 June 2013).

BOOKS

Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point
Edited by Subhankar Banerjee
Seven Stories Press, New York, hardcover 3 July 2012, updated paperback 22 October 2013

Read my introduction, “From Kolkata to Kaktovik”, in Arctic Voices (READ ONLINE   )

In Arctic Voices, long–term issues of global importance—the exploitation of wild places for fossil fuels, and whether we’re determined to ride our energy binge to the grim end—are made immediate and vivid … One of the great strengths of Arctic Voices is that it shows how Alaska and the Arctic are tied to the places where most of us live. … In this impassioned book, Banerjee shows a situation so serious that it has created a movement, where “voices of resistance are gathering, are getting louder and louder.” May his heartfelt efforts magnify them.—Ian Frazier, The New York Review of Books  

Part of our failure to recognise the dangers at stake is that the Arctic still tends to be perceived as a big barren desert of ice, apolitical and disconnected from our political concerns, up for grabs. The book Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point offers an encyclopedic approach to reframe such understandings.—Manuela Picq, Al Jazeera  

The volume’s most outstanding feature is that it shows the Arctic not as a sublime wilderness devoid of human beings, but as a region in which people have been living for a long time, and in which contemporary developments threaten not only nature, but in a great measure also indigenous cultures. … Through making both victimisation and resistance visible, Arctic Voices is itself an important contribution to the struggle for environmental justice in the far North.—Reinhard Hennig, Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment  


EXHIBITIONS

[group] Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775–2012
Curator Barbara C. Matilsky
Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington, 2 November 2013–2 March 2014  
Tour schedule: El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 1 June - 24 August 2014
                       McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Ontario, Canada, 11 October 2014 - 11 January 2015
The 144–page EXHIBITION CATALOGUE is published by Whatcom Museum and distributed by the University of Washington Press

[group] Seeing Glacial Time: Climate Change in the Arctic
Curator Amy Ingrid Schlegel
Tufts University Art Gallery, 30 January–18 May 2014  
The exhibition is accompanied by an E-BOOK.
Art Review: Mark Feeney, “At Tufts, going far north to look at climate change”, The Boston Globe, 10 February 2014  

[group] In Residence: Contemporary Artists at Dartmouth
Curator Michael Taylor and Gerald Auten
Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, 18 January–6 July 2014  
The 160–page EXHIBITION CATALOGUE is published by the Hood Museum of Art and distributed by the University Press of New England
Art and Activism panel: Subhankar Banerjee, Daniel Heyman, and Sana Musasama, moderated by Dr. Michael Taylor, April 24

ESSAYS

Beautiful Sunsets (and Sunrises) in Art
by Subhankar Banerjee, ClimateStoryTellers, 31 March 2014 | READ ONLINE  
        The article is also published on COMMON DREAMS, COUNTERPUNCH, COUNTER CURRENTS, HUFFINGTON POST, and TRUTHOUT.

On Climate Impasse: Appetite and Substitutes
by Subhankar Banerjee, ClimateStoryTellers, 27 March 2014 | READ ONLINE  
        The article is also published on COUNTERPUNCH, COUNTER CURRENTS, DISSIDENT VOICE, PEACE, EARTH & JUSTICE NEWS,
        TRUTHOUT, and YUBANET.
This is part II of a multi–part exploration on ‘climate impasse’.

Interpreting the Climate Impasse: A View from Indo–America
by Subhankar Banerjee, ClimateStoryTellers, 26 February 2014 | READ ONLINE  
        The article is also published on COMMON DREAMS, COUNTERPUNCH, COUNTER CURRENTS, DISSIDENT VOICE,
        THE ECOLOGIST, NATION OF CHANGE, and TRUTHOUT.
This is part I of a multi–part exploration on ‘climate impasse’.

The Varieties of Environmental Violence
by Subhankar Banerjee, Los Angeles Review of Books, 22 November 2013

This essay is a review of Rob Nixon’s book, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard University Press, 2011, paperback 2013)

READ THE ESSAY ONLINE  

Slow Violence is an important contribution to the growing field of ecocriticism… Nixon further broadens the scope of ecocriticism by bringing postcolonial studies to the table… Slow Violence is the first book in environmental literary studies to explore the connection between natural resource extraction and petro–imperialism… Slow Violence eschews dense prose and indecipherable academic jargon for the rigorous, clear writing of someone with the mind of a critic and the heart of a humanist. From now on, thanks to this book, no discussion on environmentalism would be complete without taking slow violence into account”.


Destabilization of Arctic Sea Ice Would Be “Game Over” for Climate
by Subhankar Banerjee, Truthout, 29 September 2013 | READ ONLINE  

Let Us Now Sing About the Warmed Earth
by Subhankar Banerjee, Huffington Post, 28 September 2013 | READ ONLINE  

Boulder Flooding: Remembering Warnings from “Weather Report”
by Subhankar Banerjee, Common Dreams, 13 September 2013 | READ ONLINE  

How We Can Wrench Independence from the Corporate State
by Subhankar Banerjee, AlterNet, 3 July 2013 | READ ONLINE  

Walking the Waters: How to Bring the Major Oil Companies Ashore and Halt the Destruction of Our Oceans
by Subhankar Banerjee, TomDispatch, August 2, 2012 | READ ONLINE  

Ought We Not to Establish ‘Access to Food’ As a Species Right?
by Subhankar Banerjee
in Third Text special issue Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology
Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2013, Routledge, London
Edited by T. J. Demos

READ THE ESSAY ONLINE  

“The Gwich’in do not inhabit the coastal plain, they do not go there to hunt, they do not even walk there, and yet they are making a claim for its protection. For all these reasons, I would call this a right–to–food claim; by making this claim they are fighting to protect access to food for human and non–human communities—caribou for the Gwich’in, and cotton grass for the caribou, during calving time”.


Photography’s Silence of (Non)Human Communities
by Subhankar Banerjee
in all our relations, the 18th Biennale of Sydney catalogue (Biennale of Sydney, 2012)
Edited by Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster

READ THE ESSAY ONLINE  

“I think photography is a kin of philosophy—both help us raise questions about ‘our time’. In that regard, photography can never be dead, as any time is different than what came before. In the climate ravaged Anthropocene era that we have entered, photography has an immense potential to help us raise new questions about the survival of all species”.


Of Survival: Climate Change and Uncanny Landscape in the Photography of Subhankar Banerjee
by Yates McKee
in Impasses of the Post–Global: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, Vol. 2 (Open Humanities Press, 2012)
Edited by Henry Sussman

READ THE ESSAY ONLINE  

“Banerjee is concerned with…a relay between media and survival [as Judith Butler writes in, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?], which he stages in terms of the specific formal and historical problems pertaining to photography as a medium. The images exemplify [Eduardo] Cadava’s axiom that ‘there can be no image that is not about destruction and survival, and this is especially the case in the image of ruin’ … Banerjee’s images are ‘images of ruin’ … The uncanniness of landscape identified by [Jean–Luc] Nancy…is exacerbated by Banerjee throughout his oeuvre… Marked by traces, trails, and vestiges of a global ecological history…Banerjee’s uncanny landscapes speak to a project of climate justice… To paraphrase Walter Benjamin’s remark on Eugene Atget—Banerjee photographs every single inch of the Arctic as if it were the scene of a crime”.


INTERVIEWS

The Real News Network: Colorado’s Thousand–Year Flood
Jaisal Noor interviews Subhankar Banerjee, 19 September 2013.
In this two–part interview Subhankar and Jaisal discuss the September 2013 historic floods in Colorado, media’s role in reporting climate change, and the US energy policy. Each part is about five minutes long.

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Part I: The media has utterly failed its responsibility to inform the public of the link between climate change and worsening natural disasters. VIEW PART I ONLINE  

Part II: The Obama administration’s focus on oil extraction and emphasis on fracking is not addressing climate change.
VIEW PART II ONLINE  

The Real News Network: UN IPCC Climate Assessment Report 2013
Jaisal Noor interviews Subhankar Banerjee, 27 September 2013.
In this two–part conversation Subhankar and Jaisal discuss the IPCC Assessment Report 5, the campaign that climate change deniers are launching to attack the report, and the significance of the Arctic sea ice. The first part is about seven minutes long and the second part is about five minutes.

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Part I: UN IPCC AR5 2013. VIEW PART I ONLINE      |     Part II: Why Climate Deniers Are Plain Wrong. VIEW PART II ONLINE  .

Dr. James Hansen with Subhankar Banerjee
Lannan Foundation lecture series In Pursuit of Cultural Freedom
Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe, 20 February 2013 (SOLD OUT)

WATCH VIDEOS OF THE EVENT ONLINE  

Looming Deadline Creates Window for Protests to Stop Shell’s Arctic Drilling
Subhankar Banerjee in conversation with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez
Democracy Now!, 20 July 2012

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INTERVIEW WITH AMY GOODMAN & JUAN GONZALEZ—WATCH ONLINE