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This is the companion newsletter for Watch Your Head an online journal that publishes writing and art about the climate crisis and climate justice issues.
This newsletter will keep you up to date on our publications, news, and events.
History of Watch Your Head
The seed of this project was planted at a protest. On September 7, 2019, Kathryn Mockler organized a reading with eight writers for an environmental group hosting a climate protest at Simcoe Park during the Toronto International Film Festival. The day-long event included music, readings, and art performances. As the sky threatened rain and most people in the area were enjoying the festival, the event itself was small — only about 15 or so in attendance and few passersby.
But that didn’t matter. Once each performer took the mic, the size of the audience and the grey autumn day fell away, and it was just the writers, their words, and their messages which were captured on video. The readers included Margaret Christakos, Adam Giles Catherine Graham, Hege Jakobsen Lepri, Khashayar Mohammadi, Terese Mason Pierre, Rasqira Revulva, and Todd Westcott.
An online platform was needed to share this moving and powerful event, and so Watch Your Head was born where the videos and texts from that unforgettable day can be found. The title Watch Your Head operates not only as a literal warning about the climate disaster but also critiques of society’s self-interest and the failure to address collective global concerns.
Once the site went live, several writers and artists offered to lend their support to the project forming a large editorial collective to publish creative works focused on climate justice and the climate crisis.
Visit our contributors page to see the works we have published to date.
In 2020 Coach House Books published the print anthology Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis.
A warning, a movement, a collection borne of protest.
In Watch Your Head, poems, stories, essays, and artwork sound the alarm on the present and future consequences of the climate emergency. Ice caps are melting, wildfires are raging, and species extinction is accelerating. Dire predictions about the climate emergency from scientists, Indigenous land and water defenders, and striking school children have mostly been ignored by the very institutions – government, education, industry, and media – with the power to do something about it.
Writers and artists confront colonization, racism, and the social inequalities that are endemic to the climate crisis. Here the imagination amplifies and humanizes the science. These works are impassioned, desperate, hopeful, healing, transformative, and radical.
This is a call to climate-justice action.
Edited by Madhur Anand, Stephen Collis, Jennifer Dorner, Catherine Graham, Elena Johnson, Canisia Lubrin, Kim Mannix, Kathryn Mockler, June Pak, Sina Queyras, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Rasiqra Revulva, Yusuf Saadi, Sanchari Sur, and Jacqueline Valencia
Proceeds will be donated to RAVEN and Climate Justice Toronto.
Purchase a copy here.