By Paula Ungar
I spend the quarantine days in my old, quiet apartment. From the window, I can see the shape of the Andean mountains that embrace the Eastern part of Bogotá. Groups of little houses are embroidered into that mountainside, like honeycombs, forming one of the numerous self-built quarters in this city inhabited by seven-million.
By Cornelius Holtdorf and Annalisa Bolin
A virus has put the world on hold. Many individual human actions suddenly appear extremely small and insignificant in comparison with the unyielding might and relentless spread with which the SARS-CoV-2 virus is presently conquering Earth. We are witnessing how the virus does not distinguish between human hosts and how all societies struggle with the challenges of containing and managing the coronavirus.
By Serenella Iovino (translated by Elena Past)
Zoonosis. This is one of the strange words that the onset of the coronavirus has forced us to learn. Zoonosis is a transitive infection, a virus that passes from animals to human beings. Or rather: it passes to our species from other animal species, recalling that human and nonhuman animals share an entire biological kingdom and that our bodies’ cells speak languages that are not all that dissimilar.
By Sigurd Bergmann
Once the coronavirus pandemic is over, we will wake up to a new society. Before everything gets better, however, everything will get worse—for a long time yet. We are faced with frightening images and stories of suffering in refugee camps, ill-equipped hospitals in poor countries, and the suffering of so many people across Europe.
By Jenia Mukherjee and Amrita Sen
Rapid shifts across nine planetary boundaries, including deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and climate change, have occurred as a result of the Anthropocene. As recent advances in research suggest, political, economic, and technocratic interests drive global development enterprises. “Capitalocene,” a word used frequently now, emphasizes the palpable connections between planetary transformations and the functioning of the capitalist machine.
By Kelly Donati
In early January 2020, hitting the refresh button on The Guardian punctuated my waking hours as I obsessively tracked the movement of the bushfires from Munich. Watching from afar, sleep grew elusive. Just as I was meant to be drifting off, people along the east coast of Australia were waking up—if they had slept at all—to appraise the destruction and gather their wits for another day of fire-fighting, evacuation, or just waiting. It was a time in which breath did not come easy.
By Cameron Muir
The smoke has been here hanging all day or blowing in of an evening for weeks now. The kids have been indoors most of this time. Even for the last two weeks of school, before the summer holidays, they were ordered to stay inside and spent their lunches and recesses in the classroom or hall because of the heatwaves.
By Ruth Morgan
For me, the Savage Summer was televised, unfolding in my family’s living room in Perth and then a hotel room in Ooty in southern India. I’d expected locals there to ask me about cricket, but all they wanted to talk about were the bushfires that had seemingly engulfed the entire continent.
By Rob Waters
Listen to a spoken-word poem about the fires and their impact on the land.
By Kate Wright
I’m seven years old dancing to Buddy Holly on a red rug. The warm crackle of the stylus on the vinyl rhymes with the burning wood hissing on the open fire. Carbon, once captured and condensed into living forests, is rapidly escaping its cellulose confines.