Courtesy of Jean Cannon
The climate crisis and COVID-19 are two topics likely to be weighing on Vermonters' minds. In a new zine presented by the Burlington-based climate justice nonprofit 350Vermont
, writers and artists explore the intersection of the pandemic and Earth's changing climate.
In early May, organizers, including project initiator and 350Vermont staff collective member Lily Jacobson, put out a call for submissions. They were looking for stories, essays, poems, drawings, photos, and other types of writing and visual art to fill a DIY publication, serving as "an artistic dialogue around the connections between COVID-19 and climate justice, aka the climate crisis," according to the call for submissions.
The response was enthusiastic. In a phone call with Seven Days
, Jacobson said the team received submissions from 40 people, some of whom sent multiple pieces. With such a large number of works, organizers decided to parcel the zine, called Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation
, into two issues.
"It really feels like something about this call struck a chord," Jacobson noted, "and we initiated this project because we were already getting the sense that connections between the pandemic and climate change were on people's minds, and the response we got certainly seems to affirm that."
Courtesy of 350Vermont
'Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation'
Among the contributors are Burlington artist and activist Jen Berger, University of Vermont lecturer and long-time 350Vermont board member Brian Tokar, Putney teen poet Emma Paris, and Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Jody Williams.
Gail Schwartz and Marisa Keller edited, Olivia Box edited and handled technical aspects, and Marcy Kass covered design.
The first issue of Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation
will be visible for free on the digital platform issuu
as of Sunday, August 2. A limited run of print copies will be available by donation through 350Vermont's website.
350Vermont introduces Issue 1 of Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation
with a virtual launch party
on Monday, August 3. Starting at 7 p.m., zine contributors take to the video conference platform Zoom to read and share other works. Members of the public should preregister
to attend the free online event.
Readers can watch for Issue 2 around the fall equinox in September.
While Jacobson said there are no plans for the zine beyond Issue 2, 350Vermont is always open to creative ideas for spreading the word about climate justice. "We are always interested in connecting with writers and artists who want to be creating things about climate justice to put out into the world," she said.
Disclosure: Marisa Keller is a
Seven Days employee.