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REVIEW | Climate activist Vanessa Nakate has a better grasp of the ‘bigger picture’ than most politicians

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A Bigger Picture by Vanessa Nakate.
A Bigger Picture by Vanessa Nakate.

BOOK: A Bigger Picture: My Fight To Bring A New African Voice To The Climate Crisis by Vanessa Nakate (Pan Macmillan)

Publishing’s worst-kept secret is that books sell better when there’s a clear villain, a hero and a conflict, because people relate to stories, not abstract concepts about invisible gases. If that theme or conflict can be stretched far enough, it may influence the title of the book itself. This is particularly relevant when a book straddles more than one genre like Ugandan climate justice activist and social entrepreneur Vanessa Nakate’s "manifesto and memoir".

One third into A Bigger Picture: My Fight To Bring A New African Voice To The Climate Crisis (Pan Macmillan), Associated Press (AP) is rightfully villainised for cropping Nakate out of a photograph with four other activists, who were white. So "a bigger picture" refers both to the importance of seeing how climate change affects various human systems as well as the importance of black female African voices, faces and activists in stories about the climate crisis.

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