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EVENT REVIEW: TippingPoint: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell

13 October 2016

Sunday 9th October
Palace Green Library
Review by Melis Anik

The stage aesthetics seem to match the theme of the event to come; the uneven and arboreal panels that form the stage, alongside a series of makeshift vines that encircle the top of it, give off a convincing sense of the outdoors.

Once everyone is seated, the main speakers are introduced and they begin to reveal their views regarding climate change in fiction, the TippingPoint organisation and, in Justina Hart and Sarah Thomas’ case, what inspired them to write their winning Weatherfronts commissions. The decisions behind each speaker’s place on stage become immediately apparent as all members of the discussion have something unique to offer.

As the event continues, I eagerly await the live reading of both Justina and Sarah’s winning commissions. Their written work couldn’t be more different: one drawing inspiration from environmental events from the past and the other using the more recent Cumbrian floods. They both offer a unique insight into the effects of climate change, and captivate the audience’s attention.

Overall, this event was an interesting exploration of fiction and climate change. If anything, it proved that a range of different outlooks, combining the sciences and the arts, can successfully collaborate in order to create such an event. From Harriet Bulkeley’s opinion that fictional climate change is often negative and futuristic, to Justina and Sarah’s unique literary work, this event really did give the audience plenty to consider.