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After Water

Chicago Public Media

science+art+journalism... Time is running out to rescue and repair the planet, climate scientists keep telling us. They say that soon fresh water will be more precious than gold. They warn that no one will be untouched. But is anyone really listening? In After Water, scientists, writers and journalists to peer into the future—100 years or more—and imagine when water scarcity is a dominant social issue. It’s a cosmic blend of art and science. Front and Center is funded by The Joyce Foundation: Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.

science+art+journalism... Time is running out to rescue and repair the planet, climate scientists keep telling us. They say that soon fresh water will be more precious than gold. They warn that no one will be untouched. But is anyone really listening? In After Water, scientists, writers and journalists to peer into the future—100 years or more—and imagine when water scarcity is a dominant social issue. It’s a cosmic blend of art and science. Front and Center is funded by The Joyce Foundation: Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.

Location:

Chicago, IL

Description:

science+art+journalism... Time is running out to rescue and repair the planet, climate scientists keep telling us. They say that soon fresh water will be more precious than gold. They warn that no one will be untouched. But is anyone really listening? In After Water, scientists, writers and journalists to peer into the future—100 years or more—and imagine when water scarcity is a dominant social issue. It’s a cosmic blend of art and science. Front and Center is funded by The Joyce Foundation: Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.

Language:

English


Episodes

AfterWater Fiction: Show Me The Well

12/16/2014
Chicago poet, playwright and educator Kristiana Colon is an ensemble member of Teatro Luna, the all-Latina theater company in Chicago. Show Me the Well is her radio play for After Water, a fusion of science, art and journalism that asks writers to imagine a world 100 years in the future, when clean water is a dominant social issue. This play is right in line with Colon’s vision of art as a tool to ‘reinvigorate the learning experience, build social awareness and provoke critical analysis of...

Duration:00:07:42

After Water Fiction: The Way of the River

9/15/2014
Roxane Gay lives and writes in the Midwest. She is the author of “Ayiti,” “An Untamed State,” and “Bad Feminist,” a New York Times bestseller. “The Way of the River” is Gay’s contribution to After Water, a WBEZ Chicago flash fiction project that invites writers to examine the impact of climate change on future generations around the Great Lakes. In this story, a wife and mother pushes against despair and thirst to keep her humanity, and her family together.

Duration:00:05:35

After Water: An interview with author Tim Akimoff

8/1/2014
"Water Men" by Tim Akimoff is the story of a political struggle over water in the Great Lakes region. A father tells his child about how the Great Lakes have shaped their family for generations before the world they know is changed forever. Hear author Tim Akimoff talk about how he thinks fiction can be a tool for understanding the news and why a Great Lakes secession movement might not be as crazy as it sounds. (Photo courtesy of Tim Akimoff)

Duration:00:11:07

After Water Fiction: Water Men

7/30/2014
What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. "Water Men" by Tim Akimoff is the story of a political struggle over water in the Great Lakes region. A father tells his child of the generations that have come before them before the world...

Duration:00:13:53

After Water: An interview with author Rebecca Adams Wright

7/30/2014
In "Straws," the Great Lakes are being siphoned away by greedy private interests. A group of eco-terrorists hatch a plan to return the water to the places slowly dying of thirst. Author Rebecca Adams Wright tells us about the current legal battles over Great Lakes water that served as inspiration for her story and how she balances fantastic and realistic futures in her science fiction. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Adams Wright)

Duration:00:05:16

After Water Fiction: Straws

7/29/2014
What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. In Rebecca Adams Wright's short story, "Straws," we find a Great Lakes slowly being siphoned away by private interests. A group of eco-terrorists hatch a plot to bring the water back to the...

Duration:00:07:54

After Water: An interview with author Peter Orner

7/29/2014
In his story "The Last Cribkeeper," Peter Orner introduces us to Harry Osgood--the last man to work on Chicago's water cribs. Harry spends his days walking along the shores of Lake Michigan, peering out at the water that has shaped the city's identity and his own. Author Peter Orner sat down with WBEZ's Shannon Heffernan to talk about his lifelong obsession with those tiny houses off Chicago's shores and his homesickness for the blue of Lake Michigan. (Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Duration:00:08:15

After Water Fiction: The Last Cribkeeper

7/29/2014
What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. In "The Last Cribkeeper" by Peter Orner, we meet Harry Osgood as he walks along the shores of Lake Michigan. For years, he served as the guard for one of the water intake cribs miles from...

Duration:00:08:48

After Water: An interview with author Tricia Bobeda

7/28/2014
In "The Floating City of New Chicago," we see a Chicago divided by class...and water. The wealthy have fled the city for a secret island on Lake Michigan. The "wet-collar" workers have been left behind to do the city's dirtiest jobs. Author Tricia Bobeda drew on a combination of scientific research and pop culture to craft her story about a future Chicago. Hear her talk about the inspirations for her story, including real life invisibility cloaks and an episode of "30 Rock." You can listen...

Duration:00:11:37

After Water Fiction: The Floating City of New Chicago

7/28/2014
What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. In her story, "The Floating City of New Chicago," Tricia Bobeda takes us to a Chicago divided by class...and water. Wealthy people have fled the city for a secret island in Lake Michigan,...

Duration:00:20:35

After Water: An interview with author Abby Geni

7/24/2014
In "World After Water", Abby Geni imagines a city flooded by toxic water too poisonous to drink. Four young boys resort to stealing filtered water from their wealthy neighbors in their struggle to survive. Geni wrote her story after spending time researching how climate change could change our day to day life. Hear Geni's thoughts on why her fiction focuses on the natural world and how science in literature can help us think about the future. You can listen to Abby's story "World After...

Duration:00:07:43

After Water Fiction: World After Water

7/24/2014
What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. In her story, "World After Water", Chicago author Abby Geni brings us to a city flooded by dirty, toxic water. We follow the struggle of four boys, forced to steal clean water from their...

Duration:00:09:42

After Water: An interview with author Max Andrew Dubinsky

7/23/2014
Author Max Andrew Dubinsky imagines a future world where people in California are plagued by drought and rising sea levels. In hopes of finding a better life, some of them turn their eyes towards the Great Lakes region. Dubinsky wrote his story after being paired with a scientist for our series After Water. Hear him talk about that process and the research behind his imagined world in this interview with WBEZ's Shannon Heffernan. You can hear Max Andrew Dubinsky's story, "Thirst", on our...

Duration:00:06:03

After Water Fiction: Thirst

7/23/2014
(Flickr/James Marvin Phelps) What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. In his story, “Thirst” Los Angeles-based author Max Andrew Dubinsky brings us to a California that’s dry and dying, its inhabitants looking to the Great Lakes...

Duration:00:12:13

After Water: An interview with author Nnedi Okorafor

7/23/2014
Award-winning, science-fiction author Nnedi Okorafor wrote a story set on Chicago's Rainbow Beach, decades in the future. After a conversation with a Great Lakes expert, she imagined a future world where the water is contaminated and Chicagoans on the South Side are separated from any access to clean water. In this interview with Shannon Heffernan, Okorafor talked about the real life scenarios behind her sci-fi story. You can hear Nnedi Okorafor's story, "Poison Fish" on our Soundcloud and...

Duration:00:09:51

After Water Fiction: Poison Fish

7/22/2014
(Flickr/surfergirl1972) What happens 100 years from now when, if climate change has brought us to a point where water has become one of our scarcest resources, and more precious than oil or gold? We've asked fiction writers to imagine the Great Lakes region a century or more on, and help us paint an audio portrait of that world. Local author Nnedi Okorafor starts out the series on Chicago's south side. In her story, "Poison Fish" (or, "Poison Poisson"), Okorafor brings us to a dystopian...

Duration:00:12:15