News

Banerjee’s work creatively approximates what Bruno Latour calls “hybrid” formations, by bridging cultures and natures, the pictorial and the geophysical, the image and the trace, the photograph and the text. … his work visualizes one modeling of an interspecies democratization of politics, working toward the composition of a common world—the result of an image complex formed out of photography, political theory and practice, legal testimony, activism, and exhibitions between the fields of science, visual culture, and environmental humanities. Banerjee’s politicization of visual culture exists at a far remove from the fatalism of climate–refugee narratives, and shows that resigned adaptation to the dislocations of climate change is hardly our only option.
—T. J. Demos, from Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology, Sternberg Press, 2016

PUBLICATIONS  |  LECTURES  |  EXHIBITIONS  | PUBLIC WRITING  |  INTERVIEWS

PUBLICATIONS


After Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne’s Listening Session in Fairbanks, Alaska (Photo: Subhankar Banerjee, August 2006)

Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies: Conversations from Earth to Cosmos
Edited by Joni Adamson and Salma Monani
(Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature, August 2016 †)
This book addresses the intersections between the interdisciplinary realms of Ecocriticism and Indigenous and Native American Studies, and between academic theory and pragmatic eco–activism conducted by multiethnic and indigenous communities” (from the publisher’s website).

I wrote the book’s third chapter, “Long Environmentalism: After the Listening Session,” which grew out of several conference talks: a keynote at the 27th annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Notre Dame in 2013, and three talks in 2015, the Environmental Humanities Series at the University of Texas–Austin, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture at the University of New Mexico–Albuquerque, and the ‘Conflict Shorelines: History, Politics, and Climate Change’ Conference at Princeton University.

READ THE “LONG ENVIRONMENTALISM” ESSAY ONLINE

Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology
T.J. Demos (Berlin: Sternberg Press, July 2016 †)

Art historian T. J. Demos…considers the creative proposals of artists and activists for ways of life that bring together ecological sustainability, climate justice, and radical democracy, at a time when such creative proposals are urgently needed” (from the publisher’s website). The book includes a chapter, “Climates of Displacement: From the Maldives to the Arctic,” in which T. J. includes a discussion of my Arctic photography and social–environmental activism. I also wrote a blurb for the book’s back–cover: “Demos breaks new ground in art criticism. In an expansive analysis of polyvocal artist–activist practices in the Global South and the North, Demos eschews environmental catastrophism, scientific determinism, and techno–fixes to highlight collaborative resistance to neocolonial violence and neoliberal collusion–to–plunder. He is also searching for what the path forward might be. Rigorous, accessible, and rebellious, Decolonizing Nature is an inspiring and indispensible contemporary art manifesto.

Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Edited by Willis Jenkins, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim (Routledge, August 2016 †)

The moral values and interpretive systems of religions are crucially involved in how people imagine the challenges of sustainability and how societies mobilize to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well–being. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology provides the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field. … It presents contrasting ways of thinking about ‘religion’ and about ‘ecology’ and about ways of connecting the two terms. Written by a team of leading international experts, the Handbook discusses dynamics of change within religious traditions as well as their roles in responding to global challenges such as climate change, water, conservation, food and population. It explores the interpretations of indigenous traditions regarding modern environmental problems drawing on such concepts as lifeway and indigenous knowledge. This volume uniquely intersects the field of religion and ecology with new directions within the humanities and the sciences” (from the publisher’s website). I wrote the “Art” chapter that will appear in the “Environmental Humanities” section of the book. Additionally, one of my photographs made in an Even reindeer camp in the Sakha Republic of Siberia in November 2007 is the cover–art of the book.

Systemic Crises of Global Climate Change: Intersections of race, class and gender
Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research (Routledge, April 2016 †)

Emergent Possibilities for Global Sustainability: Intersections of race, class and gender
Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research (Routledge, July 2016 †)

Edited by Phoebe Godfrey and Denise Torres


I contributed photographs with long captions for both volumes.

Humanities for the Environment: Integrating knowledge, forging new constellations of practice
Edited by Joni Adamson and Michael Davis (Routledge, November 2016 †)

Humanities for the Environment showcases how humanists are working to ‘integrate knowledges’ from diverse cultures and ontologies and pilot new ‘constellations of practice’ that are moving beyond traditional contemplative or reflective outcomes (the book, the essay) and towards solutions to the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time. With the still controversial concept of the ‘Anthropocene’ as a starting point for a widening conversation…” (from the publisher’s website). In 2014, I facilitated the concluding workshop at the Humanities for the Environment Symposium at the Arizona State University, hosted by the ASU’s Institute of Humanities Research. You can learn more about the Humanities for the Environment, or HfE, from the project’s website HERE and view online the workshop, “The Process of Writing and Using Images,” I facilitated HERE.

I wrote a blurb for this important book.

Living in the Anthropocene: Humanity in the Age of Humans
Edited by W. John Kress and Jeffrey Stine (Smithsonian Books, 2017)
I wrote an essay entitled “Why Polar Bear?”

The genesis of this book is a 2012 conference, The Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans, which was organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s Grand Challenges Consortia. I participated as a panelist. “The world is changing at a rapid pace. Scientists have documented significant changes during the last century in climate, land–use, and biodiversity that are unprecedented over the last thousand years. These changes are also occurring at a time of rapid social, economic, political, and technological transformation. Although the Earth and life on it have always been characterized by change, the current rate and scale of these changes may be unparalleled by any time in the past since the beginning of human civilizations. Even the fields of literature and the arts are adapting as writers and artists grapple with unprecedented social and environmental upheavals. A consensus has been reached that the tremendous scope of transformations now occurring on the Earth, with profound effects on plants, animals, and natural habitats, is primarily the result of human activities” (from the Smithsonian press release).

The American Environment Revisited: Environmental Historical Geographies of the United States
Edited by Geoff Buckley and Yolanda Youngs (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)

Historian of environmental visual culture Finis Dunaway’s essay, “Reconsidering the Sublime: Images and Imaginative Geographies in American Environmental History” will appear in this volume, in which he includes a discussion of my Arctic photography.

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

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

Arctic Voices is an eye–opening account of a precious place…many writers included in the anthology not only share their love of nature, but also raise important questions about our reliance on oil, gas and coal. … Native groups have banded together to fight big oil and preserve the cultural continuity… Their reverence for, and connection to, the earth—its animals, water, mountains and land—is beautifully described in Arctic Voices, and each essay is as much a prayer as a call to activism.—Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout

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

LECTURES



Talk—“Art of Environmental Justice in an Expanded Field”
A Symposium on Creative Activism and Eco-Politics across Boundaries
Princeton University, 13 April 2017
Led by Professor Alan C. Braddock, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities

Talk—“ExtrACTION” Speaker and Screening Series
Center for Creative Ecologies, University of California, Santa Cruz, 21 February 2017
Led by Professor T. J. Demos, Director of Center for Creative Ecologies †

Talk—E.A.T./Engadin Art Talks “Snow and Desert”
Zuoz, Switzerland, 28 & 29 January 2017
Led by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co–Director Serpentine Gallery in London, Daniel Baumann, Director Kunsthalle Zürich, Bice Curiger, Director Fondation Van Gogh Arles, and Philip Ursprung, Professor ETH Zürich †

Panel—Earth to Cosmos: How Environmental Humanities and Indigenous Studies Engage a Sense of Expanded Home
2016 American Studies Association Annual Meeting “Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are”
Denver, Colorado, 17-20 November 2016 †

Talk—Climate Change Speaker Series: 10th Anniversary of 516 ARTS
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 29 October 2016 †

Keynote—LENS (Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies) Inaugural Symposium
This event is part of “Earth Now:Earth 2050” UCLA College Luskin Endowment Inaugural Symposium, 18–20 October 2016 †

Visiting Fellow Lecture
Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge, UK, 9 June 2016 †

Lecture—Cambridge Climate Histories Interdisciplinary Research Group Seminar
Center for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, UK, 18 May 2016 †

Guest Artist Lecture—M.A. Program in Photography
De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, 3 May 2016

EXHIBITIONS


Rights of Nature at the Nottingham Contemporary, United Kingdom. 24 Jan 2015 – 15 Mar 2015. (Photo: Nottingham Contemporary)

[group] Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment
Curators Karl Kusserow, John Wilmerding Curator of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum, and Alan C. Braddock, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and Humanities, Princeton University
Princeton University Art Museum, February-June 2018
Offering a major reinterpretation of American art across three centuries, the project will examine for the first time how American artists have reflected and shaped environmental perception while contributing to the emergence of a modern ecological consciousness. … On view in Princeton from February to June 2018, the exhibition will also benefit national audiences, via a planned tour to two additional cities, and international audiences, via a symposium, publication and web–based materials” (from the museums’s press release) †

[group] Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas
Curators Dr. T. J. Demos and Dr. Alex Farquharson, with Irene Aristizábal
Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 23 January – 15 March 2015 †
The Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones selected Rights of Nature as the EXHIBITION OF THE WEEK.
Read T. J. Demos’ essay, “Rights of Nature: The Art and Politics of Earth Jurisprudence” †

PUBLIC WRITING


Smoke from the Paradise Fire, Elwha River Valley, Olympic National Park (Photo: Subhankar Banerjee, 2015)

Paradise Burning
by Subhankar Banerjee, with introduction by Tom Engelhard
TomDispatch.com of The Nation Institute, New York, 3 March 2015 †
The article was subsequently published in a number of other places: AlterNet | Bill Moyers’ Moyers & Company | Common Dreams |
Countercurrents | Eco Report | Grist | Guernica | Huffington Post | Juan Cole’s Informed Comment | Naked Capitalism | The Nation |
Nation of Change | Pacific Free Press | Progressive Radio Network | Rebelion (translated in Spanish) | Salon | Surviving Capitalism |
Trutdig | Truthout | Unz Review | War in Context | ZNET

In the Warming Arctic Seas
by Subhankar Banerjee
World Policy Journal, published by the World Policy Institute, New York, June 2015
READ THE PRINT VERSION (PDF)     |     READ THE ONLINE VERSION AT THE WPI WEBSITE


To Drill or Not to Drill, That Is the Question
The Obama Administration, Shell, and the Fate of the Arctic Ocean
by Subhankar Banerjee, with introduction by Tom Engelhard
TomDispatch.com of The Nation Institute, New York, 3 March 2015 †
The article was subsequently published in a number of other places: AlterNet | Asia Times | Bill Moyers’ Moyers & Company |
Common Dreams | Countercurrents | Energy Post | Global Possibilities | Guernica | Huffington Post | Juan Cole’s Informed Comment |
Le Monde diplomatique | The Nation | Nation of Change | The Real News | Resilience | Salon | Trutdig | Truthout | Utne Reader |
War in Context | YubaNet
On March 4, I did a radio interview with Warren Olney, host of To the Point, a nationally syndicated program on the Public Radio International. It’s about 10 minutes long. LISTEN ONLINE

INTERVIEWS

Title

“Irresponsible & Reckless”: Environmentalists Decry Obama’s Approval for Shell Drilling in Arctic
Subhankar Banerjee in conversation with Amy Goodman and Narmeen Shaikh
Democracy Now!, 14 May 2015 — VIEW 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 — VIEW ONLINE