CLIMATE ANXIETY COUNSELING
I’m scared for the effects of climate change on the world I love. Rather than try to think about, save, or mourn for the whole world, I decided to think about my city and state, and the living creatures — including other humans — who share it with me.
The first round of Climate Anxiety Counseling ran in Kennedy Plaza (outside Burnside Park), Tuesday-Friday 3-6 pm, Saturday 3-5 pm, May 13th-June 7th, 2014. Opposite the bus terminal, and just outside Burnside Park, I sat with a Lucy-from-Peanuts style booth (thank you, Charles Schulz):
When people stopped to talk with me, I asked them what they were most worried about — whether it was related to climate change or to something else — and if I could write down what they said. With permission, I’ve shared on this site some of what people said to me.
If you come to the booth, you can share your anxiety–climate or otherwise–with me, and respond to someone else’s anxiety in the form of an Alternate History, to help imagine a different set of futures (more about how and why here). You can also take away a little drawing of a living creature that shares the state with you. I’ve since set up the booth at AS220’s Foo Fest, the Washington County Fair, the Sankofa World Market, and the Providence International Art Festival.
2018 summer and fall dates:
In Burnside Park/Kennedy Plaza, Providence
May 29-June 1
At the Sankofa Market, 275 Elmwood Ave., Providence
Wednesdays 2-6pm, June 20th-October 31st
At the Sankofa Market/Sowing Place, 393 Broad St, Providence
The first Saturday of each month, 11am-3pm, June-December
I’ll note additions here and cancellations on the blog’s main page.
Philip Eil wrote about Climate Anxiety Counseling for the Providence Phoenix. Stephanne Taylor wrote about it for Hakai Magazine. Rich Salit wrote about it for the Providence Journal. Karl Saliter wrote about it in Elephant; Martin Fritz Huber mentioned it in Outside; it’s part of an article by Martin de Bourmont and Dayton Martindale for In These Times. Linda Russo and I talked about it in Coldfront. ARTCOP21 included it in their map of events. SF blog Marooned Off Vesta wrote about the Alternate Histories, three of which appeared in About Place. and three more of which appeared in Reckoning, where editor Michael J. DeLuca also interviewed me (and then later, I interviewed him). A related essay, “Strange Waters,” ran in The Rumpus, and another, “The Alchemists at Home: On Pregnancy and Responsibility” in The Toast; I wrote a kind of timely introduction to the project, “One Person at a Time,” for Catapult, who also published a reflection “On Political Change, Climate Change, and the Choice to Not Have Children.” “Time To Be Something Other Than Human,” a long essay informed by my time at the booth and reflecting on the power and limits of stories in the context of climate change came out in 2018 with Essay Press. Some poems I wrote between conversations are in Dusie and Poets for Living Waters.
Follow me on Twitter @kateschapira, or visit the project’s Facebook page, for updates about appearances and other facets of this project. If you have a question for me, you can ask me there, or leave it here as a comment, or email me at my g mail address, publiclycomplex.
Let’s take care of each other.