News

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, review of Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point, 7 March 2013

The most powerful work in the show [Seeing Glacial Time: Climate Change in the Arctic exhibition at the Tufts University Art Gallery] is Banerjee’s large–scale color photographs. … An advocate for Arctic conservation and indigenous human rights, Banerjee holds masters degrees in both physics and computer science, which is somewhat ironic given that his work is the most aesthetically interesting. The e–publication that accompanies the exhibition includes extensive notes by the photographer that informatively and thoughtfully address the effects of climate change in the regions he covers.
—Michelle Lamunière, caa.reviews, College Art Association, review of Seeing Glacial Time exhibition, 22 October 2014

PUBLICATIONS  |  EXHIBITIONS  |  LECTURES  |  INTERVIEWS

PUBLICATIONS

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

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

Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point is an eye–opening account of a precious place that few of us will ever visit. At the same time, the 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

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



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. It illuminates the multi–layered, polyvocal ways in which artistic expressions render ecological connections, drawing on scholars working in collaboration with Indigenous artists from all walks of life, including film, literature, performance, and other forms of multimedia to expand existing conversations” (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.


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’m writing 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).

A Companion to American Art
Edited by John Davis, Jennifer A. Greenhill, and Jason D. LaFountain (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015 † )

In his essay, “From Nature to Ecology: The Emergence of Ecocritical Art History,” in A Companion to American Art, Alan Braddock includes a discussion of my photography. Alan is a pioneer of ecocritical art history and author of of the forthcoming book, Ecocritical Art History: Theory and Practice (Yale University Press, 2017), and co–curator of the forthcoming exhibition, Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (Princeton University Art Museum, 2018). In “From Nature to Ecology,” Alan writes that, “ecocriticism does not limit itself to explicitly ‘green’ creators and works, but insists that all have some sort of ecological meaning, for better or worse. Ecocriticism also regards environmental justice—affecting humans and non–humans—as a central concern. By expanding interpretation beyond traditional humanist, anthropocentric issues without ignoring human beings (since doing so would contradict ecology’s emphasis on interconnectedness), ecocriticism seeks to enrich understanding while fostering sustainability and responsibility.



Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics
Edited by Emily Eliza Scott and Kirsten Swenson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015 † )

This is the book I’ve been waiting for. Scott and Swenson bring together a vast variety of projects from all over the globe, providing a rigorous and sometimes brilliant examination of the social spaces into which artists have been inserting themselves for decades now. Departing from conventional landscapes and documentary approaches, informed by feminism and grassroots and global movements, authors and artists are opening the floodgates to a still broader context for art.”——Lucy R. Lippard (back–cover blurb).

In his essay, “Documenting Accumulation by Dispossesion,” Ashley Dawson includes a discussion of my work.





Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West
Lucy R. Lippard (New York: New Press, 2014 † )

Lucy Lippard is to land abuse what Linnaeus once was to animals and plants. Undermining is a catalog of dynamite-blasted, bulldozing craziness, with every sub-species named, classed, and on display. It shows you not the Old West or the New West, just the Real West. Read it and weep.
—William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest

The photographers represented in this book are among those who are deeply aware of the meanings embedded in their images, even when they are not obvious. Some, like Subhankar Banerjee, known for his stunning images of the Arctic and his eloquent advocacy on its behalf, declare themselves activists first and artists second.
—Lucy R. Lippard, excerpted from Undermining


Art and Politics Now
Anthony Downey (London: Thames and Hudson, 2014 † )

Artist, educator and activist Subhankar Banerjee’s project Land–as–Home (2000–) consists of two large–scale series, Arctic and Desert. Both are concerned with a number of interconnected issues, not least the shelter and food that the earth affords its inhabitants and how these basic elements of life are under threat from industrialized societies. … In Gwich’in and the Caribou (2007), we see two members of the Gwich’in community skinning caribou, an image that reflects on the broader issue of their struggle to save the calving ground of the caribou from oil and gas development.
—Anthony Downey, excerpted from Art and Politics Now





Paradise Burning
by Subhankar Banerjee, with introduction by Tom Engelhard
TomDispatch.com of The Nation Institute, New York, 3 March 2015 †

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


When land and sea are going through rapid changes, inhabitants of the area are usually the first to witness it. In 2002, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, in cooperation with the Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian Institution, pointed out that the indigenous peoples “are already witnessing disturbing and severe climatic and ecological changes,” even though “the majority of the Earth’s citizens have not seen any significant climate changes thus far.” Thirteen years later, a majority of the world’s people are experiencing significant impacts of climate change. In the Arctic, the changes have only accelerated.


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 †

Beluga Whales with calves along the Chukchi Sea coast (Photo: Subhankar Banerjee, July 2006)

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

EXHIBITIONS


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

[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” †

[group] Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775–2012
Curator Dr. Barbara C. Matilsky
David Brower Center, Berkeley, California, 11 February–11 May 2016 †
Tour schedule: Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington, 2 November 2013–2 March 2014
                       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 EXHIBITION CATALOGUE was published by the Whatcom Museum and distributed by the University of Washington Press

LECTURES



Lecture—Cambridge Climate Histories Interdisciplinary Research Group Seminar
I’ll give a talk entitled “Why should I care about the Arctic?”
Center for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, UK, 18 May 2016 †

Visiting Fellow Lecture—Thursday Lunchtime Talk
I’ll give a talk entitled “Why polar bear?”
Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK, 9 June 2016 †

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

Lecture—Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) Inaugural Symposium
Institute of Environment and Sustainability, University of California–Los Angeles, 20 October 2016

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 †

Conflict Shorelines: History, Politics, and Climate Change—Conference
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 12–14 November 2015 †

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 15 October 2015 †

Environmental Humanities: A Public Forum, 2015-2016
University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 22 October 2015 †
I gave the inaugural lecture for the yearlong series ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES at the University of Texas–Austin, which was organized by the Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies and the Department of English.

Environmental Photography and Humanities—A Symposium
Co–hosted by the Valand Academy of the University of Gothenburg and the Hasselblad Foundation
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, 23–24 April 2015 †

Rights of Nature—Conference
Nottingham Contemporary, United Kingdom, 24 January 2015 †


INTERVIEWS

Title

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

President’s Plan to Protect Arctic Ocean Won’t Halt Oil Drilling
Subhankar Banerjee and Leah Donahey in conversation with Sharmini Peries, 5 and 9 February 2015
The Real News Network     —     VIEW PART I     |     VIEW Part II

“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

Colorado’s Biblical Floods Linked To Climate Change
Subhankar Banerjee in conversation with Jaisal Noor
The Real News Network, 19 September 2013 — VIEW ONLINE