Thoreau and Me
Some heavy reading on the ecological and climate emergency leads Cedric, a forty-something painter living in Paris, to question his life choices. In a state of vulnerability, racked with eco-anxiety, he is contacted by the spirit of Henry David Thoreau: writer, environmentalist and the author of Walden. Two centuries separate Cedric from the author who, depressed by the narrow materialism of industrialised America, retreated to a single-room cabin in the woods by Walden Pond. But as their Socratic dialogue continues, Cedric notices striking parallels between the suffocating commercialism of mid-19th-century America and the unsustainable, alienating, tech-driven consumerism of today. Both societies are shaped by a single priority - economic growth - that not only squanders the earth's resources but separates human beings from nature. Inspired by Thoreau's return to nature, Cedric begins dreaming of his own retreat from urban life: his own self-sufficient cabin in the woods. In Thoreau and Me, Cedric Taling explores the causes and consequences of today's climate emergency. Blending humour, philosophy and fiction, Taling asks how, at a time of unprecedented ecological and climate breakdown, we can learn to live with and respond to eco-anxiety.
Cédric Taling is a painter and illustrator. He has worked as a screenwriter for Canal+ ID and as an animator for cinema and television. His paintings, which are inspired by comics art, blend American and Japanese graphic influences. He produced his first solo exhibition in 2007 and, in 2014, co-founded the contemporary art centre La Traverse d'Alfortville. Thoreau and Me is his first graphic novel.