I really believe this city is teaching me something. It works on me, my views on independence, freedom and collaboration are being altered by this place. In New York freedom is the right to express yourself and move without interference, in Helsinki freedom is about having access to forums were futures are being decided.
A Feminist Counterapocalypse (2018) Joanna Zylinska. The text frames Judith Butler as a posthumanist (We suspected this with Pietari)! It gives a great overview to Anna Tsing’s thinking and provides a framework for further developing the happy degrowth movement or a #deathhack cult. More Anna Tsing on Landscapes (2016) Anthropod podcast. Terms to take home from the lecture: Creatures of Empire = Animals which colonizers brought with them (horses etc.), Shock-Troops = Pathogens, Camp followers (Starlings etc.) = Species brought by settlers which threaten threatening local ecology. “Landscape assemblage”.
I want to outline an alternative microvision: the prospect of a feminist counterapocalypse that takes seriously the geopolitical unfoldings on our planet while also rethinking our relations to and with it precisely as relations.
Recognizing that we are of the world, it also presents instances of differentiation between subjects and objects as ethico-political tasks for the human. These tasks involve having to account for asymmetries of relations, making “agential cuts” to the arrangements of the world, and trying to establish better—that is, fairer and more just—relations
The denial of precarity leads to the drawing of various lines of differentiation such as gender, race, class, or bodily ability. Levinas’s ethics, and Butler’s reworking of it, is no doubt humanist in that it adopts the human figure and voice as articulators of an ethical demand. Yet it also lends itself to a posthumanist opening because it poses a radical challenge to the self-sufficient and self-centered subject of moral theory. In the ethics of responsibility toward the alterity of the Other, the moral subject is always already exposed, invaded, or, to use Tsing’s phrase, contaminated. “Self-contained individuals,” argues Tsing, are in turn “not transformed by encounter. Maximizing their interests, they use encounters—but remain unchanged in them.”
Learning the lesson of “collaborative survival” in precarious times from the matsutake mushroom, she argues that “staying alive—for every species—requires livable collaborations. Collaboration means working across difference, which leads to contamination. Without collaborations, we all die.”
The feminist counterapocalyptic framework creates a space for an ethical opening onto the precarious lives and bodies of human and nonhuman others—including the male bodies and minds that have been discarded in the downsizing process of disruptive semiocapitalism.