Andri Snær Magnason

On Time and Water
How to talk about changes bigger than language

During the next 100 years we expect to see a fundamental change of all the elements of water on our planet. Many glaciers will melt and the sea levels will rise at a faster rate than has been seen before. Acidification will bring the oceans to a pH level not seen in 50 million years. We could say that nature is not changing in geological speed anymore but entering human speed. This extreme shift is larger than any metaphor or any words or language we are used to. Just like the huge gravity of a black hole makes it invisible, you could say that this issue is so large that it swallows all words and meaning. Andri weaves a web of stories from mythology, to his grandmother’s honeymoon on Europe’s largest glacier, to our understanding of our intimate time. We are faced with the almost impossible task of cutting carbon emissions to zero in 2050 according to newest studies. The question is – are we too late to do something? What can actually be done in 30 years? We have found ourselves in the largest paradigm shift of our lifetime. What words can you use when the change is bigger than langauge itself?

What I Do

Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer and film maker. His work has been published or performed in more than 40 languages in poetry, fiction, sci-fi and children’s books. He has won awards around the world for his work and his new book On Time and Water has already been sold to 24 languages.