COOP ~ Reframing Climate Colonialism: Pleasuring the Radical Imagination from Month to Month

Seminar 3: 20 - 21 February 2021

Material Kinship, Extraction & Workshopping the Self

Led by Clementine Edwards

Saturday, 20 February 

10am – 1pm CET (4am – 7am GMT+5; 8pm – 11pm AEDT) 

2pm – 5pm CET (8am - 11am GMT+5; 12am - 3am AEDT) 

Sunday, 21 February 

10am - 1pm CET (4am - 7am GMT+5; 8pm - 11pm AEDT) 

Led by Clementine Edwards & Katherine MacBride

‘How, in our modern world, can we find our way to understand the earth as a gift again, to make our relations with the world sacred again? … even in a market economy, can we behave “as if” the living world were a gift?’  - Robin Wall Kimmerer 

‘Growing the white population through biologically reproductive heterosexual marriage was crucial to settler-colonial nation-building… In short, white bodies and white families in spaces of safety have been propagated in intimate co-constitution with the culling of black, red, and brown bodies and the wastelanding of their spaces.’ - Kim TallBear 

‘The stories we choose to shape our behaviours have adaptive consequences,’ says Robin Wall Kimmerer. She says that our relationship with the living world – and here I’d add the non-living world, too – can be ‘transformed by our choice of perspective’. Last year, we met ‘Man the Hero’, shook his hand and moved on to the oat fields, basket in hand. As tenderly as the barefoot sands ritual, we read Ursula Le Guin and Vanessa Agard-Jones and spoke about memory-making and climate crisis. In January we speculated about Black care as intersectional future-building, and learned from radical disability politics about holistic accessibility. Nuance, texture, embodiment, abundance and generosity have guided our thinking. 

This week we drill down into climate colonialism to pick out and discuss ideas of extraction, possession and white-bodied supremacy. Climate crisis was precipitated by and began at the point of (settler-)colonialism. Primarily, the intention of European colonies was resource extraction. European powers developed the dual concepts of race and accumulation. Colonising countries appropriated and decimated Indigenous lands under the mandate of property law, and murdered, enslaved and indentured Black and Indigenous people at industrial scales. Whiteness, operationalised as a marker of ‘the human’, was constituted as a governing ideology in newly established settler-colonies and deployed to establish order across class. 

Beginning with a text from Kim TallBear, we’ll think into methods of kin-making and caretaking that go beyond the monogamous, biologically reproductive white nuclear family (what TallBear calls the ‘settler sexuality system’). We will also continue our poetic exploration of doing politics and life  – ‘workshopping the self’ – within the frame of our art practice, via activities, readings and a material kinship workshop that centres grounding, place-based making and material delight. Beyond extraction and possession, the workshop is about precarious world-building, story-telling, and reconstituting what it might mean to pay attention to and make kin with the local material world that is already before us. Finally and importantly, we’ll collectively engage with the idea of the artist as ‘individual’ practitioner, and ways in which one’s perception of self-as-artist might be bound up in Western cosmologies. 

To extract: 

  1. to draw forth or get out by force: to extract a tooth. 
  2. to deduce (a doctrine, principle, etc.). 
  3. to derive or obtain (pleasure, comfort, etc.) from a particular source. 
  4. to take or copy out (matter from a book, etc.). 
  5. to extort (information, money, etc.). 
  6. to separate or obtain (a juice, ingredient, principle, etc.) from a mixture by pressure, distillation, treatment with solvents, or the like. 
  7. Metallurgyto separate a metal from its ore by any process. 
  8. Mathematicsto determine (the root of a quantity). 

Definition of the verb taken from Macquarie Dictionary, 2021 

Readings:

  • Kim TallBear, ‘Making Love and Relations Beyond Settler Sex and Family’, 2018

READ in the PDF; or WATCH & LISTEN (55 minute listen): 

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=zfdo2ujRUv8&ab_channel=SocialJusticeInstituteUBC 

  • Zora Neale Hurston ‘Magnolia Flower’, 1925

READ in the PDF

  • Tema Okun ‘white supremacy culture’, dRworks 

READ in the PDF or online here.

READ in the PDF or online here.

Further Reading:

  • Michelle Tea, extract from Black Wave, pp, 2015

READ in the PDF; or read the whole book for leisure. (It’s fiction!)

  • Robin Wall Kimmerer ‘Nature Needs a New Pronoun’ 2015, Yes! Magazine

READ in the PDF or online here.

See you Saturday! 

Clem

 

Seminar 2: 18 -19 January 2021

Black Care & Disability Justice 

Facilitator/s: Ama Josephine Budge

Guest/s:  Nish Doshi

Readings:

  • Something So Broken: Black Care in the Wake of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Kyo Maclear 
  • Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, paying particular attention to pages 74-78 - Making Space Accessible is an Act of Love for our Communities
  • Introduction in BodyMinds ReImagined, Sami Schalk
  • Beast of the Southern Wild (film)
    To stream online:
    https://www3.watchseries.so/series/beasts-of-the-southern-wild-axv 

To pay (ie, if not comfortable streaming, then rent on Amazon/HBO, get a receipt and we will reimburse): https://www.amazon.com/Beasts-Southern-Blu-ray-Quvenzhan-Wallis/dp/B008220ALC/ref=tmm_mfc_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= 

*This month the DAI COOP sessions will take place over one full DAI day (equalling 10 hours), I have spread these hours out over two days to moderate the durations of time we will be online together. 

**Times below are indicated in Dutch time, please adjust accordingly if you will be joining us from another time zone. 

Monday January 18th   (10am - 1pm & 4pm - 8.30pm)

10am - 11.15am: Check-in / Catch-up

    Warm Up

    Anything to add to the online access doc?

11.15 - 11.30:    Break

11.30 - 1: Reading Discussion - Care Work Dreaming Disability Justice & BodyMinds ReImagined

1 - 4pm: Break

5 - 7pm: Workshop with Nish Doshi - Climate and Disability Justice: Working from Marginalisation, Erasure and Invisibility (with 10 minute break incorporated)

7- 8pm: Dinner

8-9.30pm: In your own time and space watch Beasts of the Southern Wild (if you haven’t already, if it was a long time ago please rewatch it now)

Please also re-cap the CJC preamble that we read last time, ahead of tomorrow’s session. 

To stream online:
https://www3.watchseries.so/series/beasts-of-the-southern-wild-axv  

To pay (ie, if not comfortable streaming, then rent on Amazon/HBO, get a receipt and we will reimburse you): https://www.amazon.com/Beasts-Southern-Blu-ray-Quvenzhan-Wallis/dp/B008220ALC/ref=tmm_mfc_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Tuesday January 19th  (2pm - 5.30pm)

2pm - 2.30pm: Warm up

2.30 - 4pm: Discussion - Beasts of the Southern Wild

        Workshop - Speculating on Black Care as Intersectional Future Building

4 - 4.15: Break

4.15 - 5.15pm: How We Care Matters - introduction to the CJC’s Manual for Use

5.15 - 5.30pm: Close / Check-out

 

Seminar 1: 14-16 November 2020

This week we’ll begin to work with the concept and embodiments of climate colonialism present all around us. The term climate colonialism was an accusation returned to the world’s highest greenhouse gas emitters at the COP21 climate summit (2009).

Climate colonialism is here understood as the historic ontological, epistemological and ecological genocide at the hands of European colonists, the legacy of which we now perceive as climate change. Climate colonialism also engages the global power dynamics of domination and oppression that neo-colonial capitalism reinscribes upon the Global South, who are forced to to pay, economically, ecologically, and socially, for the effects of climate change in cultures, croplands and lives.

Collectively, we’ll explore the ways in which memory-making informs the stories we are told, and how such considerations can inform, or reduce, the possibilities of agency in our readings of climate colonialism, and our ability to respond, to re-frame, to build futures.

We’ll discuss how agency might be found and mental health navigated amidst the crushing weight of colonial violence and the lived violences of racialised life, as well as the collapsing environments of our non-human/alter-life kin.

Finally, we’ll begin to consider the roles and responsibilities of art/ists and cultural institutions within an ecology of environmental transformation, and the way that an intervention like the Climate Justice Code can both insist on and fail to hold them to account.

Essential Readings:

  1. Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, Ursula Le Guin (1988)
  2. What the Sands Remember, Vanessa Agard-Jones (2012)
  3. Watch: Let Them Drown: the violence of othering in a warming world, Naomi Klein (2016)

Additional Reading:

  • Discourse on Colonialism, Aime Cesaire (1955) - PDF available online

Please Bring/Prepare: 

    • A five minute presentation on your work/practice
      • This can be informal
      • If you would like to use slides please bring these on a USB
    • A towel
    • Warm socks
    • A scarf / blanket

Questions to consider: 

    • In what ways is climate change present in the country/ies that inform your identity?
    • What are some of the colonial relationships that affected the environment/agriculture/ human-to-non-human relations in these countries?
    • How does the above inform your understanding of climate colonialism? 

 

 

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