Hannah O’Flynn: Chimeras of Infinite Expansion: Thinking Capital Accumulation through Fruit Chan’s Dumplings


Advisor/tutor: Ghalya Saadawi

July 2020


This thesis looks to enquire into the nature of capital accumulation so as to understand what has historically enabled sustained exponential capital accumulation to appear as possible, as its appearance as possible underlies the capitalist’s drive to accumulate capital. To do this, it will explore the different mechanisms used historically to ensure expanded capital accumulation: the colonial project of capitalism as a spatial “fix” to some of the inner contradictions of capital, and the development of uneven geographical development. The process of tracing the historical shifts of capitalism through which expanded capital accumulation has been pursued, has here been done in conjunction with an examination of film director Fruit Chan’s omnibus short film and subsequent feature film Dumplings. This is because of the film’s protagonist’s manic drive to expand herself in time, which throws her into a brutal carnage of exploitation and dispossession of other women in order to feed her chimeric desire of reproducing herself in time. The protagonist’s madness of infinite expansion is paralleled in this thesis with the capitalist drive to infinitely accumulate capital, so as to help in the understanding of its history.