Against Terricide: Envisioning Paths Towards Pluriversal Transitions with Arturo Escobar

Against Terricide: Envisioning Paths Towards Pluriversal Transitions with Arturo Escobar

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About the Talk: This presentation outlines a new narrative of life emerging at the interface of Latin American anti-extractivist territorial struggles and critical social theory. Such narrative might ground a praxis of pluriversal transitions beyond modernity's liberal, secular monohumanism necessary to face the climate catastrophe caused by global colonial capitalist worldmaking practices. This particular lecture is co-sponsored by ECOLOGIES OF KNOWLEDGES, also part of the Entanglement Project.

About the Speaker: Arturo Escobar is an activist-researcher from Cali, Colombia, working on territorial struggles against extractivism, postpatriarchal, postdevelopmentalist and post-capitalist transitions, and ontological design. He was professor of anthropology and political ecology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, until 2018, and is currently affiliated with the PhD Program in Environmental Sciences (Universidad del Valle, Cali). Over the past thirty years, he has worked closely with Afro-descendant, environmental and feminist organizations in Colombia. His most recent books are Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018); Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible (2020); and Relationality: Remaking and Restor(y)ing Life, with Michal Osterweil and Kriti Sharma (in press).

On the Entanglement Project at Duke-FHI: Climate catastrophe cannot be thought outside of the context of empire and the forms of racialization central to global capitalism, including the degradation of peoples, ecosystems and lands facilitated by states in the global North. Threats to the very existence of the planet and all its inhabitants result from this genocidal global development project, yet the effects are being borne more grotesquely by those who live in the global South. Environmental justice efforts that overlook the longue durée trajectory of the historical operations of capitalism, and the raciality that affixes a disproportionate burden onto ex-colonized areas of the planet and its inhabitants, fall short of pointing us in a direction of systemic and just change.

The Climate Change, Decolonization and Global Blackness Lab seeks to explore the linkages among three pivotal and simultaneously occurring catastrophes—criminality, displacement, pandemics—toward developing a set of principles regarding decolonization as an ethical approach to climate change. ​