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Literary book on climate change launched

Literary book on climate change launched
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The effects of climate change—rising sea levels, melting polar ice caps, increasing temperatures—have been written and talked about so much. Unfortunately, the problem is so big and complex that the public chooses to ignore it.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a non-profit group working on sustainable energy solutions, aims to change that with a groundbreaking book that hopes to engage the public to talk about the issue.

Titled Agam, an early Filipino word for foreboding and memory, the literary book is a collection of 26 images and 24 narratives about climate change.

Launched in a jam-packed restaurant in Quezon City yesterday, the book is the brainchild of Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of ICSC, and Regina Abuyuan, Manila Bulletin‘s Business Agenda section editor.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate’s Climate Change Committee, attended the launch and gave a short address.

The book’s contributors were each assigned a photo, shot by Jose Enrique Soriano, that served as a prompt for the piece they were to write. They were free to write in any literary genre and use any language. The result is a collection of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poems in the languages of Tagalog, Waray, Maguindanao, Bikol, Ilokano, Cebuano, Sinama, and English.

While this is a book about climate change, the works—each no longer than 1,000 words—do not contain words such as “adaptation,” “mitigation,” and “climate change.”

Agam contributors include distinguished poets Ramon C. Sunico, Merlinda Bobis, and Padmapani Perez, Columbia School of Journalism dean Shiela Coronel, University of the Philippines-Diliman chancellor Dr. Michael Tan, and anthropologist Arnold Azurin.

The book will be launched on June 28 in Tacloban, Leyte, followed by a launch in California’s Berkeley, San Francisco and in Manhattan, New York in July.

All proceeds from the sale of Agam will go to Re-Charge Tacloban, a project that funds the building of e-jeepneys and integrated solar sustainable transport facilities in Tacloban.

Words Katrina Rivere-Diga

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