One evening not long ago I stirred from a television stupor at the sound of a familiar street name and saw a police forensic team in waders carry bones from the edge of a lake. Four femurs and a skull, to be precise. The view widened and I saw a shabby clique of melaleucas and knew exactly where it …
The Stinky Ocean
‘It was a peculiar, alopecic landscape of hummocks and gullies, with patches of grass growing on what looked like white earth, and rarely a soul to be seen.’
Ian Jack on the legacy of the Scottish textile bleaching industry.
I’ve Been Away for a While
‘When the world releases him from its oily grip will there still be a world?’
Fiction by Dan Shurley, featuring the 2019 explosion of an oil refinery in Philadelphia.
Death Takes the Lagoon
‘Black waves bring animals to the town’s shore. Sticky corpses float on the oil.’
Ariel Saramandi on the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius.
House of Flies
‘None of us hung out with them or knew them really, except two boys in our class, who stopped going to school after crude oil became such a big deal.’
A story by Claudia Durastanti, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris.
‘His best photographs are expressionistic, almost calligraphic, as though he’s displaying the hidden signatures our collective appetites have etched across the Earth.’
Anthony Doerr introduces the photography of Edward Burtynsky.