• Jessica J. Ginting

The Sky is Falling: Entering a New (P)Age

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

Humans are old.

Young, in the grand scope of time, but old, in terms of our own history. A lifetime is a gift but also a burden to many. We try to keep the best parts of ourselves alive by telling stories to our children, and then to our grandchildren, and the cycle continues. Everything is slightly frayed at the edges: details fade, the structure loosens, but the string is still there.

The string of human history is a fragile thing. We cannot know how things were in the undocumented past, we can only imagine and do our best to weave our own stories with more robust fabric, with stronger words, more vivid colours and bolder details. We can only hope to endure.

In ROSANA!, endurance is something that is always on our characters' minds. Endurance is the only way of life they've ever known. These characters, these people in our story, they've all faced the tipping point of climate change and came out on the other side trying to build a better world for themselves and future generations.

Even the ones who left Earth, they too, are exhibiting a form of endurance, in trying to maintain the survival of the species off-world in the event that Earth becomes uninhabitable. Of course, human history is nothing if not a chain of self-inflicted disasters, a story defined by the ones who survived. I've been re-watching Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes this past week, the 2003 HBO miniseries based on the play by Tony Kushner. Without going too off-topic, it's possibly my favourite work of fiction, about a whole country collapsing on itself and the individuals who find a way to endure. Kushner is a master at slicing open old wounds of history, probing in with a critical gaze and interweaving the historic with the fantastic, cracking open the boundaries of reality and flooding it with magic.

Photo by Sandra Ollier on Unsplash

Apocalypse stories tend to do that. They create diversions in time: we could die, now, or we could climb over the edge of the world and find ourselves on the other side. Do we want to know what's out there? I do favor stories that sit in that liminal space, where we see the world clearly changing and must soldier on to brave the beautiful, possibly dangerous unknown. Rosana's never seen the world outside of Pulau Ndana. It is a small uninhabited island that lies right on the edge of Indonesia at the very bottom of its Southern borders. Her world has just been cracked open, and she's not ready to fall off the map just yet. It's a chance for her to move forward but also uncover a lot of hidden cracks in time, in Indonesia's history that she has never seen nor heard of until now. The quakes of disaster will only create a new fracture in the world, a gate for those brave enough to enter. . .

Jessica J. Ginting