Humans have been telling stories since forever ago. Stories are an essential facet of our humanity, fulfilling our needs to feel, express, share, entertain, and be entertained. Historically, stories have been powerful enough to move people–and for that, sometimes they have been feared.
Stories are by-products of the lives we live, and our lives today are spiked with the looming danger of climate change catastrophes.
“Speculative Futures in the Climate Crisis” is the overall theme of a series of flash fiction by New Naratif. It is a creative writing project featuring four authors across Southeast Asia and their stories of how our future might look because of the climate crisis.
New Naratif is a journalism platform and independent media outlet that advocates democracy, freedom of information, and freedom of expression in Southeast Asia. It is a non-profit enterprise published by Observatory Southeast Asia.
Editors Deborah Augustin and Minxi Chua revealed that New Naratif invited writers around the region to pitch their flash fiction ideas around the theme in May 2021.
“We chose this theme because we believe that imagining a better world is the first step toward creating one,” said Deborah and Minxi in the Editors’ Note.
Pitches mostly came from young, aspiring writers across Southeast Asia. In the selection process for the final stories, the editors sought variety in the concepts and regions represented. They ended up with four short stories—some bleak, some hopeful, all important.
The publication process is ongoing. Currently, there are two stories published with two more to go. Flipside hails from Singapore; The Last Will and Testament of the Last Elder sets the story in Indonesia. These stories are accompanied by expressive illustrations, making them even more impactful.
These stories serve as cautionary tales and hopeful dreams about the climate crisis. Climate change is a reality now, and what we do to shape our still unwritten future matters.
You can follow the ongoing series here.
Naz is the Manager for International Editorial at Green Network Asia. She once studied Urban and Regional Planning and has lived in multiple cities across Southeast Asia. She is an experienced and passionate writer, editor, translator, and creative designer with almost a decade worth of portfolio.