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  • Foto van schrijverTinne Horemans

Het vurige proza van de Sloveense schrijver Videmšek

Volgende week spreken Tijn en ik de Sloveense journalist en schrijver Boštjan Videmšek. Vijfentwintig jaar lang was hij oorlogsverslaggever. Onlangs maakte hij een carrièreswitch.

"For me, journalism was never merely a job. From when I started as a sixteen-year-old, it was much more of a lifestyle, or even life itself. This made it so much harder for me to accept that my work had swiftly and irreparably lost most of its value to a society that was apparently content to drown in its own madness.

The post-fact order that we have dreamed up overnight is a place where cranks like me and my colleagues are tolerated at best. The rise of the (anti) social networks with their echo chambers of pre-chewed opinion based on zero expertise has ushered in a new age, one that is not yet named but is getting more powerful with every millisecond. The best description that I, personally, have come up with for this current and possibly final stage in our species' evolution is 'The Dictatorship of Nothingness'.

In this new and increasingly powerful realm, there is little place for journalists. Or even, for that matter, scientists.

Many of the wars I used to cover never ended. (...) The autumn of 2016 saw my return from Mosul where I covered the savage clashes between the Iraqi government forces and the self-proclaimed Islamic State. At that particular moment, I was all but certain I would have to take up another line of work. I was so tired and fed up with the darkness descending form all sides (...)

So what could I do? How could I reinvent myself in this world where sheer reflexes were now king, where nothing consequential was of any consequence, and where many of its most august members were acting as if it wouldn't be a problem is the sun never rose again?

(...) I managed to find my new front line. The climate crisis, you see, is nothing less than a global, total and all-encompassing war. It is humanity's war against itself. (...) The Earth is heating up faster than even the most pessimistic experts have predicted.

(...) On a global level, winter seems to have been all but cancelled. As ski-resort managers in Europe were finally figuring out they were through, vast swathes of Australia got burnt to the ground. A billion animals were killed in just a few weeks. This got dismissed as mere collateral damage, if that all. (...) In the blink of an eye, we have become accustomed to such devastating images, not believing them to be any more real than reality show climaxes and dime-store spectacles that much of the population has retreated into.

The list goes on.

(...) The world that we thought we knew is now rapidly disintegrating as we keep nodding off in front of the television.

(...) I decided to highlight the communities and individuals who are bravely taking on the calamity (...) the homo sapiens true elite who have chosen not to be swept away in the tide of indifference and arrogance, the visionary women and men who are not banking on miraculous salvation from elsewhere. (...)

(... ) This is a book about such communities and the heroic individuals. Should they fail, hope will not be the last to die. The last to die will be our children and grandchildren."

Fragmenten uit Plan B. How not to lose hope in the times climate crisis (2021) van de Sloveense journalist en schrijver Boštjan Videmšek.

Binnenkort verschijnt hier en in de Groene Amsterdammer een interview drieluik, met Boštjan Videmšek, de Hongaarse schrijfster Andrea Tompa en de Servische schrijver Vladimir Arsenyević.

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