Hope and Community


This exhibit does not lack for stories of brutality, of hostility, of xenophobia and selfishness, and fear, and death. But there are stories of brave and determined people who rebuild and reshape communities for the good of everybody. As essayist Rebecca Solnit says, “[w]hen all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up – not all but the great preponderance – to become their brothers’ keepers.” Such a story of community-building is Carrie Vaughn’s Philip K. Dick Award-winning 2017 novel Bannerless, a crime procedural set some decades after “the Fall”, a worldwide environmental, economic and societal collapse. Along the Coast Road region – what was once known as California – society has been reformed as a series of small cooperative settlements, governed by regional committees. Bannerless is a powerful example of hopeful (even in the face of murder) post-apocalyptic fiction, where there is peace, love between individuals and between families, and mere survival giving way to resource sharing and cooperation.