The Islamic world finds itself increasingly at the epicenter of our escalating climate emergency, both as a locus of the petrochemical industry and as home to extraordinary landscapes in which the effects of environmental transformation are acutely felt. Yet, far from a solely twenty-first-century concern, engagement with changing, and often extreme, natural conditions has long characterized Islamic art and architecture in the central Islamic lands and beyond into the Muslim diaspora. This new book brings together a diverse group of scholars and critics whose contributions address this profound ecological awareness through the dual lenses of Islamic culture and climate change. Their case studies range from the Gulf, Iraq, Syria, the Indian Subcontinent, North Africa, and even outer space. Contributors examine the optimistic, sustainable, and innovative responses adopted by artists and builders in the face of often irreversible and escalating environmental destruction that necessitates such ingenuity. Breaking traditional disciplinary boundaries, this timely book brings together a diverse range of perspectives to bear on this increasingly urgent problem.
Radha Dalal is associate professor of Islamic art and architecture and director of art history at VCUarts Qatar. Sean Roberts is senior lecturer in art history at the University of Tennessee. Jochen Sokoly is associate professor of art history of the Islamic world at VCUarts Qatar.
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