Two children stand in front of spraying water, with one child walking in the back.

A onetime collaborator of Rachel Carson, photographer Charles Pratt was concerned with the erasure of green spaces.

‘Your Generation Must Come to Terms with the Environment,’ and Other Stories

With Earth Day behind us, our articles this week reflect on the different ways artists and organizations illuminate just how severely we’ve damaged the planet (for further artistic commentary, see work by the Guerrilla Girls and Andrea Polli). A theme park in France eerily coos to us: “Watch out for fire, droughts, storms, floods and other disasters. Stop deforestation. The earth will soon be dead and torn.” In the Midwest, a nonprofit urges Chicagoans to listen closer to their sonic environment in an effort to fight noise pollution. And we get a reminder of our own ecological responsibilities from eminent mid-twentieth-century Marine Biologist and author Rachel Carson.

“You must face realities instead of taking refuge in ignorance and evasion of truth,” she says. “You go out into a world where mankind is challenged, as it has never been challenged before, to prove its maturity and its mastery—not of nature, but of itself.”


Rachel Carson’s Bittersweet Farewell to the World: Timeless Advice to the Next Generations from the Woman Who Catalyzed the Environmental Movement
By Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Carson had been following the science of pesticides and their grim effects on nature, meticulously glossed over by the agricultural and chemical industries, for more than a decade. Already the most esteemed science writer in the country, she used her voice and credibility to hold the government accountable for its abuses of power in the assault on nature. “Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent,” she wrote to her beloved.

Read “Rachel Carson's Timeless Advice to the Next Generations... (external link)” by Maria Popova.

Learning to Love Chicago With Your Ears
By Kerry Cardoza, Chicago Reader

“A soundwalk can present you with those things that you don’t care for in your sound environment,” Leonardson says. “You can find the things that are interesting and engaging as well as the things that are problematic. But [a soundwalk is] historically engaging people with their listening and their own physical role and experience in the social as well as the individual realm. I think that ties back to why it really is a public dialogue and needs to be understood like that.”

Read “Learning to Love Chicago With Your Ears (external link)” by Kerry Cardoza.

How to Protest Art
By CM Campbell, Hyperallergic

The first installment in a six-part series by the artist that will be published every day this week (Mon–Sat) regarding the recent Whitney Museum protests and the issues at stake.

Start with the first installment of “How to Protest Art... (external link)” then check out the entire series by CM Campbell (external link).

‘You Have Made the Earth Sick’: Notes From an Environmental Theme Park
By Hallie Golden, CityLab

In the middle of a dense forest in rural central France, a single tree stands out from the rest. It could be its towering size or tangle of knotted branches…. A small sign instructs visitors to hug the tree to reveal the “song to save the Earth.” Within seconds of touching its thick trunk, a man’s deep, soulful voice starts to sing, in French or English.

Read “Notes From an Environmental Theme Park... (external link)” by Hallie Golden.

These Climate Change Stories Deserve Magazine Covers. For Earth Day, We Gave Them Each One.
Washington Post

We know that the clock is ticking on climate change, yet the sheer volume of news can make it tough for even the most conscientious citizen to comprehend the full scale of the crisis. So for Earth Day, we created a different way to read about climate change: an all-cover issue of The Washington Post Magazine, with each cover illustrating an aspect of climate change that The Post wrote about in the past year or so.

Read “These Climate Change Stories Deserve Magazine Covers... (external link).”


About this Series

A curated selection of writing at the intersection of art, culture, and community, compiled each week by the editors of editors of Storyboard.