‘To Learn from Nature, not to Exploit Her’: Discerning Postcolonial Green Speculations in Vandana Singh’s Indra’s Web and Widdam
Keywords:Science fiction; climate change; climate fiction; the Anthropocene; the Global South; the Global North.
As a new generation of writers and artists from the Global South deal with the effects of human-caused environmental damage and climate change, they rely heavily on science fiction and fantasy as a genre to show the most important parts of the Anthropocene. Due to the geographical peculiarity and history of the colonial past, the Global South experiences inequitable effects of the Anthropocene as compared to the Global North. Therefore, speculative climate fiction from the Global South demands a critical interpretation contextualized in the geopolitics of the Global North and the Global South. The paper discusses the manner in which science fiction anchors ecological consciousness in the narratives from the Global South and further strives to depict the specific traits of Global South SF that make it different from Global North SF. This study intends to investigate two short stories, Indra’s Web and Widdam, by an Anglophone science fiction writer, Vandana Singh. The paper demonstrates how Singh’s stories, firstly, subvert the hegemony of western sciences by legitimizing indigenous knowledge systems as scientific, rational, and eco-friendly, and, secondly, criticize the need for technological and neo-colonial advancements at the cost of our environment. With the analysis of these stories, it would be argued that postcolonial futuristic fiction not only acts as a tool to question anthropocentrism but also functions as an appropriate literary form for enunciating environmental crises and climate change affecting the Global South.
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