Virtual Screening and Lecture Series with Dr. Esther Figueroa

Below copied from the Department of English events page.

Fly Me To The Moon

March 23 – March 27



Virtual Screening
March 23-27

The screening of Esther Figueroa’s film Fly Me to the Moon (2019) is available to registered participants through Vimeo March 23 -27.


About the Film

FLY ME TO THE MOON (2019), is a feature documentary by Jamaican independent filmmaker Esther Figueroa, that takes us on a journey into the unexpected ways we are all connected on Planet Earth, by following aluminum – the metal of modernity – around the world and into space. We travel for over one hundred years, visiting places as far flung as the Moon, Jamaica, India, Suriname, Canada, Cuba, Japan, Hungary, Iceland, Australia, Vietnam, the United States of America, encountering along the way human triumphs, technological innovations, multiple wars, societal upheavals, environmental devastation. And in the urgent here and now of the climate crisis, the film challenges us to think about the consequences of our consumption, to reimagine the ways in which we live, and to change our material culture and political economy that is destroying the planet we all depend on. Winner of 2019 Awareness Festival Merit Award. Trailers for the film are available on Esther Figueroa’s YouTube channel.

Virtual Lecture with Dr. Figueroa: “Environmental Injustice and Impossible Futures”
March 26 at 5:00 pm EST


Our beliefs, the stories we tell ourselves, the decisions, and actions we take every day, define possible futures going forward. Greta Thunberg started Fridays for Future, based on her frustration and despair that her future, and the future of generations to come, is being made impossible by the “hopeful” empty promises of hypothetical distant climate targets full of loopholes and contradictions, “so we can continue to ignore the consequences of our actions, pretend everything is alright, and go back to sleep!” Human planetary dominance makes the life of millions of species impossible. Inequitable societies make peaceful futures impossible. A global political economy based on extraction, growth, and wealth, makes environmental justice impossible. In this lecture, Esther Figueroa will talk about environmental injustice not only from the perspective of humans, but non-human and planetary justice. She will challenge us to go beyond the impossible futures we are creating and instead change our narratives, change our imaginations, and change our actions to create credible futures for Planet Earth.

Reading & Discussion: Dr. Figueroa’s Limbo – A Novel About Jamaica
March 29 at 4:00 pm EST



“In Limbo, Esther Figueroa deftly navigates between steamy romance, backdoor deals and dangerous plunges into the inferno of Jamaica’s environmental disasters. But the novel’s other side is its tender and evocative celebration of love, friendship, place and belonging. The author (like her heroine) emerges triumphant at the end of this breathtaking limbo dance. Despite its darker themes, the overriding humor and irreverence make for an enjoyable read. Limbo is a page-turner that will make you want to start all over again when you come to the end. In Esther Figueroa’s skillful hands, the tropical paradise is in Limbo but not yet lost. It should evoke in every reader a passionate desire to redeem what is left clinging to the exposed roots.”

—Olive Senior, author of Dancing Lessons

“More than a novel or rather what a ‘novel’ cd or shd be – an xQuisitely serious nativist imaginary –composed in ‘standard’ narrative & Jamaica speak & angst & hope & vision, wit and an urgent sense of justice – breathing-till-it-burns – but cool knowledge of her crisis country and its people. Limbo is not just word-saying but a world-saving allegiance to what some people call The Green. Her description of the source of the Martha Brae (witch & river), is one of the most lyric & healing moments in Caribbean literature.”

—Kamau Brathwaite, Poet, Professor Emeritus Caribbean Lit/Culture, New York University

About Dr. Esther Figueroa

ESTHER FIGUEROA PH.D, is a Jamaican independent film maker, writer, educator and linguist with over thirty five years of media productions including television programming, documentaries, educational videos, multimedia and feature film. Her activist film making gives voice to those outside of mainstream media and focuses on the perpetuation of local and indigenous knowledge and cultures, the environment, social injustice, and community empowerment. Figueroa’s films are screened and televised all over the world and taught at numerous universities. They include Jamaica for Sale (2009), the award-winning feature documentary about tourism and unsustainable development. Her latest feature documentary Fly Me To The Moon (2019) is about modernity and the global aluminum industry. She recently created and co-hosted GEFF 2020, the first online film festival focused on global extraction. In 2013, Figueroa was Distinguished Writer in Residence at University of Hawai’i English Department. Her environmental novel Limbo (2013), was a finalist in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards for Multi-cultural Fiction.


This event series is sponsored by the Department of English, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, the Center for Latin American Studies, Jack E. Davis, Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities, Imagining Climate Change and the Graduate Film Studies Group