Issue 02

Nature-Cultures: narratives of the city beyond human

Edited by Zef Egan, Sarah Jane McIntyre, Emma Jane Geisler, Max Scott, and Chris Kennedy

Nature-Cultures explores new visions and narratives of cities that transcend a human perspective to embrace multispecies relationships. This issue includes short stories, artworks, climate fiction (CliFi), designs, and data visualizations that examine and trouble dystopian visions of a world impacted by climate change. What can we learn from other species? What are positive visions of the Anthropocene? What does a world beyond human look and feel like? How can CliFi be a space to address issues of equity and justice?

By Lindsay K. Campbell

Accepting cycles of life and death. Subtle attention to difference. Appreciating interdependence and care. I learn all these things from and with other species, but particularly with the help of a key interlocutor — my three-year-old daughter, Mía.

By Skye Roper-Moses & Michelle V. Jackson

Nourishing community is critical in the creation of post-COVID resilient neighborhoods. NYC Community Gardens have long held the role of bringing diverse groups of people together. These groups cut across race, culture, gender, and socio-economic class.

By Christopher Kennedy

In this piece, the USL’s Chris Kennedy reflects on the idea of novel pandemic ecologies and the role urban spontaneous vegetation (aka weeds) can play in motivating new forms of stewardship and governance in a time of upheaval and climatic shift.

In Conversation with Directors Harleen Marwah and Savita Potarazu

At the outset of the pandemic, medical students at George Washington University founded DC COVID Connect to help locals stay informed and access resources. The directors discuss how a generation of future physicians are working to create a more equitable and sustainable health care system.

By Zef Egan, Claudia Tomateo and Karim Ahmed

The 2020 hurricane season and Winter Storm Uri contributed to changing underlying questions for infrastructure and climate resilience. We are no longer asking: How do we prepare for climate chaos? We are asking: How do we recover? And how can our recovery prepare us for future shocks.

By Sasha Hodson, Tamara Oyola Santiago, Cincre Wilson, Keyonn Sheppard, Ashraf Rijal, Zbigniew Grabowski and Zef Egan

In conversation with Sasha Hodson, staff members at the Institute for Transformative Mentoring (ITM) Tamara Oyola Santiago, Cincere Wilson, Keyonn Sheppard and Ashraf Rijal share their thoughts and wisdom on credible messengering during coronavirus, anti-oppression organizing, and dismantling the prison industrial complex.

By Suchi J. Pritchard

This piece explores a dark future world as seen through the speakers eyes.

By Richelle Gribble

By visually revealing structural patterns and characteristics within cross-disciplinary and embedded networks, the blending of distinct social, biological, and technological systems form one integrated whole — the Earth. 

By Zach Murphy

The wildflowers wilt over their own feet as I trudge through the dusty, jaded soil. One of my legs is broken. My mouth is parched. And my stripes burn.

By Loretta Lopez

Poems by Loretta Lopez and paintings by Ana Sofia Remis portray the city through the eyes of Mexicans in New York.

By Michelle Frank

A poem about community forming during quarantine.

By Melissa Ingaruca Moreno and Gaston Horacio Hermida

Psycilumis gave us access to the internet of Earth’s sensorial worlds through altered states of consciousness, it gave us the ability to connect with other species’ sensorial systems and to “borrow” their abilities.

By Michelle Frank

In 2003, Nalini Nadkarni, a canopy ecologist with an appetite for outreach and an “across-the-aisle” style of communication, laid the foundation for an unexpected partnership. She launched a program that would later grow into a multi-state, prison-reform collaboration between environmentalists and corrections departments. The idea started with some moss.

By Noemi Florea

This work of environmental fiction explores a dystopian near-future world in which humans are increasingly converted into power-generating machines.

By Rory Curtin

As a first year PhD student studying Public and Urban Policy at The New School, I was keen on considering the effectiveness of urban policy here, and the interplay of stakeholders in their food system. The following essay briefly tells the story of what I discovered.

By Anna Gelb and Zef Egan

Woodbine has started a seed library, open to all. They are building a collection of vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seeds, which you learn more about in this article.

By Daniel Horowitz

These two pieces are from a project of oral history turned poetry tentatively titled Still Lives. It began with an aborted attempt to found a dirt farm on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the summer of 2017.

By Chandra Livia Candiani

The work of Italian poet Chandra Livia Candiani can be described almost in its entirety as a creation of connections, a building of bridges between the individual and what lies beyond the self.

By Nick Schiff

My body floats down the putrid, black water pooled on the subway tracks, past surgical gloves and food containers, through miles of black canals strung with stations empty but for the sleeping, slumped on benches and against walls under the talcum-colored lights.