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Research_

Environmental imaginaries and storytelling

Reimagining the world to create a more just and sustainable future
How people collectively imagine the relationship between humans and the environment plays a critical role in shaping actions.

How people collectively imagine the relationship between humans and the environment plays a critical role in shaping actions. Consider the difference between imagining the environment as a ‘resource’, or passive background, and imagining humans and the environment as entangled dimensions of a dynamic, emergent, living pluriverse. Correlatively, people’s everyday practices shape their collective imaginaries. Life practices that involve care for the more-than-human craft imaginaries is vastly different to those that emerge from life forms where the devastating impacts of extractivism are externalized and concealed. 

Stories and the arts create and nourish, contest and transform different imaginaries. They can also make the assumptions that pervade how people make sense of the world apparent. Stories about progress or human exceptionalism or who and what has value and to whom are examples of this. 

In this theme, we explore different dimensions of environmental imaginaries and storytelling. We ask not only which, but also whose stories are told, whose are silenced or marginalized and how imaginaries and stories emerge within the relational space between humans and the more-than-human world. Perhaps most importantly, we want to understand how environmental imaginaries can be transformed in ways that nourish more just and sustainable worlds.