Concrete and Clay

Viktorie Hanišová

Viktorie Hanišová: Concrete and Clay

Original title: Beton a hlína

Genre: non-fiction


Host, 2021

ISBN: 978-80-275-0599-9

Pages: 261


The climate crisis is a fact of life in the city – which means that city dwellers cannot ignore the challenges it presents.


In the western world, most people live in towns and cities – in many cases in the kind of ‘concrete jungle’ which has replaced the countryside in our cultural imagination. We have come to associate city living with career, speed, progress and civilization, things which are often at variance with the natural world. Many of us continue to ignore the global perspective on the climate crisis, which shows that wildfires, floods and droughts do not discriminate. An investigation of our locality will quickly prove that the natural world is still very much with us. Here is a vegetable patch; there is a smell of compost; the buzzing of bees is everywhere; someone has planted a tree over there; our stores are selling eggs from free-range chickens; the flowers on the café table are from a volunteer plant.  

For her book, the author has interviewed thirteen people who try their utmost to live responsibly and sustainably in the hectic environment of a modern-day city. Conversation partners include an enthusiastic gardener on a community allotment, a horticultural activist, a Prague beekeeper, and organizers of a composting system.

Although situations and approaches of the interviewees differ, they have one thing in common: all answer the question “What are we going to do?” with an unequivocal “Something!”      

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