Climate Change, Decolonization, & Global Blackness | May Joseph on The Sahara Haze

Climate Change, Decolonization, & Global Blackness | May Joseph on The Sahara Haze

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About the Talk: We are all Sahara. The Eastern seaboard of the United States is extensively impacted by the Sahara desert through the tropospheric ecologies of the Harmattan wind. The Sahara Haze, as the Harmattan Wind is called, is little understood in its sweeping planetary reach, affecting the Caribbean, the Brazilian rainforest, the Mediterranean, and vast regions of South Asia. This talk combines memoir, photographs and data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to shed light on our shared atmospheric futures through the escalating impact of climate change on the Sahara haze across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

About the Speaker: May Joseph is Founder of Harmattan Theater, Professor of Social Science at Pratt Institute, and author of "Aquatopia: Climate Interventions," "ghosts of lumumba," "Sealog: Indian Ocean to New York," "Fluid New York: Cosmopolitan Urbanism and the Green Imagination," and "Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship." Joseph is Co-Editor of "Terra Aqua: The Amphibious Lifeworlds of Coastal" and "Maritime South Asia," and Co-Editor of "Performing Hybridity." Joseph creates site specific performances along Dutch and Portuguese maritime routes exploring climate issues.

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. ​