Adriana (Adi) Discher recently graduated with a degree in Health and Societies from Penn and is currently a Master’s of Public Health student.
This compilation of my work explores themes of environmental justice by connecting specific Google Maps street view locations with narratives and prose. By allowing digital visitors to connect the material with a self-exploration of a place (visitors are encouraged to explore the places themselves through the Google Maps links or by using the coordinates included with each piece), I hope to inspire people to think critically about their own relationships with environmental justice in both places that mean something to them and especially places that they have never been to before. Environmental justice connects the global to the local and cannot be understood without connecting the two with one another, hence the title “infinite(simal)”: the world of environmental justice is both infinitesimal and infinite in scope. Both perspectives are essential to exploring environmental justice and are thus explored in this piece.
I was inspired to connect these street view snapshots to my writing because I often use street view as a way to understand a place that is foreign to me or to reconnect with a place that is nostalgic for me. Works of speculative fiction such as Samanta Schweblin’s “Fever Dream,” Paolo Bacigalupi’s “Water Knife,” and “Palestine +100: Stories from a Century After the Nakba” inspired my writing and helped me think about the different ways in which writers can approach works concerning environmental injustices. Environmental issues such as eco-tourism and climate fatalism are central to each piece but each piece is intentionally interwoven with personal themes such as gender, body image, and parenthood so that the broader and global perspective is again connected to the local and personal perspective. I hope visitors to this digital exhibit see that writing is accessible to them and that all they have to do to begin creating a connection to places that seem worlds away, they can start with something as simple as Google Maps street view.
Keywords: Fiction; poetry; multimedia; travel; global; water; environmental degradation
This multimedia work can be accessed via this link.