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Journalist and Activist Rebecca Solnit Urges Rewriting Our Assumptions on Key Social Issues

Rebecca Solnit

By Georgeann Johnson

Author, journalist, and activist Rebecca Solnit will be featured in a video presented by OccupySMA on Monday, August 19, in the Quinta Loreto Hotel TV Room. The video is a recording of Solnit speaking as a guest of the Architecture League. Solnit’s speech is entitled “Land, Climate, and Culture.

This well-known author has written numerous books on topics that cover art, politics, history, culture, mapping, and more. She is a frequent speaker at journalism, environmental and social change conferences. As a frequent contributor to both Harper’s and Orion magazines, Solnit is definitely a writer who speaks truth to power. She documents the human and environmental toll of both climate-change disasters and cultural-change clashes.

In an essay on the aftermath of 9/11, Solnit wrote, “Sometimes the right thing to do in ordinary times is exactly the wrong thing to do in extraordinary times. That’s easy to understand when something dramatic has happened. It’s less easy to grasp when the change is incremental and even understanding it requires paying attention to a great deal of scientific data.”

Lest we think these are ordinary times, this essay was entitled “By the Way, Your House Is on Fire.

In this recorded speech, Solnit emphasizes that we can change the story from one of consumption to one of connection, from status quo to action, from obscene wealth to social equity. Changing the stories lays the groundwork for changing the economic system and cultural milieu.

Solnit has worked on environmental and human rights campaigns since the 1980s, notably with the Western Shoshone Defense Project in the early 1990s—as described in her book, Savage Dreams—and with antiwar activists throughout the Bush presidency. She has discussed her interest in climate change, in the work of 350.org and the Sierra Club, and in women’s rights, especially regarding violence against women. Her writings have appeared in The Guardian and in Harper’s, where she was the first woman to regularly write the Easy Chair column, founded in 1851. Solnit was also a regular contributor to the political blog TomDispatch and is as of 2018 a regular contributor to LitHub. A few of her well-known books are Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2001), River of Shadows (2004), A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster (2009), The Faraway Nearby (2013), Men Explain Things to Me (2014); and Cinderella Liberator. (2019).

You are invited to join us on Monday at 1pm in the TV room of the Quinta Loreto Hotel. A discussion will follow. Our events are free.

Meeting and Film

OccupySMA presents

Changing the Story How to Get from Here to There

Rebecca Solnit

Mon, Aug 19, 1pm

Quinta Loreto Hotel TV Room

Calle Loreto 15, Centro

Free

 

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