Amazon, Center of the World: Amazonia, the planet’s largest tropical forest, is dangerously close to the point of no return
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 – 1:15 pm ET
Eliane Brum, a prize-winning journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker from Brazil, will be the guest speaker at the next Provost’s Lecture Series event on Tuesday, May 4. The lecture will be available on Zoom.
Arguably one of the most visible, lucid and respected voices in the country’s political and social debates, Brum has been actively engaged in projects with native populations from Amazonia and the great area of São Paulo for more than a decade. She has been a journalist for more than 30 years, reporting on the Amazon since 1998, and living there since 2017. Since 2013 she has written an op-ed column for Spain’s daily newspaper, El País. She has also collaborated with The Guardian and The New York Times. Brum has published a novel and five non-fiction narratives, and has directed or co-directed four documentaries. Her last book translated into English is The Collector of Leftover Souls – Field Notes on Brazil’s Everyday Insurrections (Graywolf Press, 2018), longlisted for the 2019 National Book Awards for Translated Literature.
Abstract: In an age of climate crisis and the sixth mass extinction, both prompted by the actions of the human species’ dominant minority, we must shift our notion of what the center is and what periphery is — not as a rhetorical argument, but as an imperative need to address the emergency we are now living through. As the planet’s largest tropical forest, its biggest terrestrial carbon sink, and one of its most diverse regions, the Amazon is one of the centers of the world. And it is dangerously close to the point of no return. If we do not change power relations—in the realms of language, race, and gender as well—we will condemn the next generation to a hostile future. In this lecture, Brum will discuss the issues affecting this critical forest, and its impact on the global climate crisis and the future of humanity.