RGS-IBG 2015: “Not Drowning But Fighting”: Decolonising The Anthropocene

notdrowningfighting

I am looking forward to the papers for our ‘Decolonising the Anthropocene’ session at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference. If you are in town (Exeter, that is), the session is on Wednesday morning at 11.10am in Peter Chalk room 2.4. Here are the abstract and talks:

ABSTRACT

We all may be a geophysical force, we may all be geology,
but we don’t matter, are matter and own matter equally.
Despite this realisation, we feel like we’ve been rendered geologically active,
but politically rather passive.
We pass through premature fossilisation in the face of nature’s agency
that we are suddenly able to perceive, apparently through Bruno Latour.
Shouting, flailing, we spew forth a deluge of cultural production
that portrays us as just that: already dead.

While the Anthropocene is embraced as an opportunity to reframe our engagement with the ‘geo’ in geography or even geopolitics, the on-going struggles against the dynamics that gave rise to the phenomenon of the Anthropocene are rarely mentioned. At best, the image of the Anthropocene serves to confirm the excesses of capitalism or is used to fantasise about a complicity of the Earth with socialist ideals of revolution. But mostly, discourse around the Anthropocene extends the experience economy into deep time and the earth’s core through affective engagements. The great Promethean realisation of the (M)anthropocene liberates us from paying attention to the everyday struggles against continued injustices against humans and nonhumans alike. In this session we would like to make present the not-so-present narratives of the Anthropocene in geographical discourse, especially around violence, inequality, white supremacy and on-going colonialism.
What does it mean, to use Aimé Césaire’s words, ‘to inhabit the face of a great disaster’, to witness and participate in its continued (re)production, both inside and outside of academia? What examples of contestation and intervention provoke re-inscription?

PROGRAMME

“Concrete Poetry”: Wilson Harris’s “The Eye of the Scarecrow”, Materiality, Language and Politics in the Caribbean Anthropocene
Patricia Noxolo (University of Birmingham, UK)

Racialised Bodies and the Vitality of the Sea: Experimental Interventions in Darwin, Australia
Michele Lobo (Deakin University, Australia)

Propositions for the Anthropocene
Nabil Ahmed (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)

Anthropocene Discourse: Geopolitics After Environment
Simon Dalby (Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada)

Manifesto for Decolonising the Anthropocene
Anja Kanngieser (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Angela Last (University of Glasgow, UK)

For those interested in contributing to decolonising practices of/in the academy, there is a Race, Culture and Equality Working Group meeting on the same day from 1.10-2.25pm in Forum Seminar Room 7.

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