“The Play’s the Thing…”

Hard to believe that I missed this new Bill McKibben essay on Grist in this morning’s scan… McKibben addresses a cultural approach to environmental issues such as global warming, and wonders why the artistic world hasn’t more forcefully addressed these topics. So far, we have The Day After Tomorrow and State of Fear, neither of which look like they’ll set off a renaissance of environmental art. Part of a course I teach every semester deals with the Harlem Renaissance, and I think that movement could serve as an apt model for such a flowering of environmentally-inspired art: like Alain Locke and W.E.B. DuBois, we need leaders who recruit artists of all kinds to address these issues. DuBois once wrote “All art is propaganda…” — is that such a bad thing?

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