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The Sakha Sea, or the Sea of Thawed Perma(?)frost

speculative fiction story, part of Bodies of Water, Bodies in Water: Swimming with Sea Level Rise by residues of wetness

Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the earth, one thing is inevitable and already underway, the seas are rising. The ice is melting, and excess water in the air is turning the rain violently torrential. A more oceanic future brings with it new sensibilities. Haunted by the sound of cracking ice and traces of deep oceanic times in geological formations, this proposal considers the past and the future as always present.

By plunging into a speculative future, this project imagines how climatic conditions have altered the long-lived but fragile relations between bodies and water. It contemplates how human and non-human bodies exist in a reality where geopolitical, social, economic and cultural infrastructures are shaped by water fluctuations. A body can shrink, dry out, grow big, get hairy, become wet.

Swimming with the sea level rise is an invitation to imagine how time and water’s changeability entangle. To question the belief that the end of the world cannot simply be an end to a world. What could begin again and anew? What will have happened in a future that sits behind our present?

In discussing the environmental changes, speculative writing could constitute a critical tool in prompting needed social and cultural transformation. With a new collection of four short stories accompanied by images, row’s digital archive will grow by experimenting with its peculiar research methodology of mixing visual, text and sound in watery imaginaries.

presentation: Oceans as Archives Symposium, University of Amsterdam, 2022


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