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Superconversations Day 12: Stephen Mueke responds to Elizabeth Povinelli, "Windjerrameru, The Stealing C*nts"


Photograph: Still from District 9, Neill Blomkamp, 2009.

Rereading the Country

I like this method, discussing a film before it is finished. Is this accelerationism? If so, it works. It accelerates envy: I want to make a film like this, being something of an ethnographer and working not too far away in the Kimberley region of North-West Australia. Povinelli and her colleagues, the Karrabing Film Collective, are in the Northern Territory, two days’ drive away.

Is it an ethnographic film? Possibly, it doesn’t really matter, better that it just be a film, albeit in an improvisational realist register, as she says. The Karrabing team combines its skills and starts to throw things into the composition: Kevin and Gavin ‘wanted to tell a story about finding two cartons of beer’ then corrupt police, corrupt miners… Corruption and pollution are the twin dystopic figures that organise this improvisation put together by people simply alert to what is going on around them—thus the realism of the text. ‘…corruption is irrevocably a geontology, says Povinelli, ‘the matter that forms as entities struggle to maintain or enhance their milieu in late liberalism.’(1)

Photograph: Cyril Hunter

Where I am it was Agent Orange at one stage. Here’s a photo of Cyril Hunter, now dead, along with many other young men who were employed to spray it as a herbicide in the bush, apparently not told about its dangers, or its Vietnam history. Someone decided to unload a cargo of unsellable Agent Orange on remote indigenous Australia where its use ‘didn’t matter,’ where precariously employed young men ‘need jobs’.

I define late liberal capitalism as ‘whatever you can get away with’. That’s what making a deal is, for the wheelers and dealers in the colonial industries of extraction, getting away with stuff. A handshake, a funds transfer and see you later. We are in the business of pulling stuff out of the ground and parleying it into finance. Any poisonous by-products are left lying around. I am chilled by sovereignty now entering a death space: “Hey, our grandfathers died her first, we can die here after.” That’s too fucking true.

But how does that work globally? The Northern Territory is like Mars compared to the Jupiter of ‘Middle America”, but the comparison is made here. If capitalism/corruption/pollution has no contours, how come it is extracting its value and depositing its poisons so precisely?

No doubt that complex is pretty invulnerable to critique, but at least the players in this drama are playing hard and playing now: ‘present action’ not vestiges of the anthropological past. Action: what kind of disruptive aesthetic has the power to occupy the attention (look as tempting a two cartons of beer) in the great global halls of affluence?

Stephen Muecke is author of Reading the Country: Introduction to Nomadology (with landscape painter Krim Benterrak) and a Professor of Writing at the University of New South Wales.


  1. She defines it in conversation with Mat Coleman and Kathryn Yusoff : ‘I coined the term “geontology” to indicate a disruption of a previous formation of power and an analytic placeholder for the formation of power we are living within and through. Geontology asks, How do we understand the current formation of power when the figures that emerge from its mechanisms are something like the animist, desert, and the terrorist rather than the masturbating child, the hysterical woman, the perverse adult and the Malthusian couple?’
    Back to text.

Great response from Muecke on Povinelli, drawing attention to the irony of discussing films that are not yet complete, as a mode of accelerating envy. Upon reading, I was immediately reminded of another in-process film concerned with indigenous thematics - Peter Britos’s Tarnation-esque feature, Mango Dreams. Where the Karrabing Film Collective focuses on the necropolitics of corruption and pollution in late colonial Australia, Mango Dreams concerns a similar context in Hawaii presented through a much more personal, less obviously political lens.

More on that in a moment, but first, consider this anecdote from Muecke:

Where I am it was Agent Orange at one stage. Here’s a photo of Cyril Hunter, now dead, along with many other young men who were employed to spray it as a herbicide in the bush, apparently not told about its dangers, or its Vietnam history. Someone decided to unload a cargo of unsellable Agent Orange on remote indigenous Australia where its use ‘didn’t matter,’ where precariously employed young men ‘need jobs’… A handshake, a funds transfer and see you later. We are in the business of pulling stuff out of the ground and parleying it into finance. Any poisonous by-products are left lying around.

Agent Orange, as is widely known in Hawaii at least, was developed as a joint project of the US Army, the University of Hawaii, and the Kauai Agriculture Research Station, and involved a testing process that was carried out:

…without warning UH employees or the nearby Kapaa community even though in 1962, just months before being assassinated, President Kennedy was told that Agent Orange could cause adverse health effects… When the testing finished in 1968, five 55-gallon steel drums and a dozen gallon cans partially filled with the toxic chemicals were buried on a hilltop overlooking a reservoir… until the mid-1980s when the Ka Leo reporter’s questions led to their being excavated, supposedly for shipment to a licensed hazardous waste facility… leaving behind levels of dioxin in some soil samples of more than five times normal cleanup standards. The barrels were then placed in a Matson shipping container… [where], instead of being shipped out of state as promised, they sat for another decade… [until] April 2000, [when] the barrels were finally shipped out…

While Mango Dreams doesn’t deal directly with Agent Orange, it does deal with its conditions of possibility. The longstanding US Military presence in Hawaii makes an appearance in the film via the micropolitical, in a scene where the protagonist, Kaipo, and his grandfather, Eala, enter the Fort DeRussy military museum in Waikiki. While taking in the Hawaiian and US Military presentations, Hawaii Five-0 plays on the television in one of the display rooms. This montage-based juxtaposition, a hallmark of meaning-making in the filmic medium, allows the familial thematics of the film (e.g., death, displacement, memory, and reconnection), to suggest the political through the incidentals of the mise-en-scène - the contexts that frame coming of age in Hawaii for Native Hawaiians in particular. The juxtaposed images of Hawaii Five-0 are significant here insofar as it hegemonized by naturalizing what Britos has described as “the psychological and material parameters of… empire”, contributing one major component to “a late-twentieth century cycle of television shows featuring Hawai`i as homebase and exotic backdrop to Euro-American men, their Lieutenants, sidekicks, and love interests.”

Both films are currently in development, engaged in a process Muecke describes as “improvisational realism”, either directly depicting or implicitly suggesting a situation of “sovereignty now entering a death space”, one in which “capitalism/corruption/pollution… is extracting its value and depositing its poisons [very] precisely.”

Here then, are a few more questions:

  • If Muecke’s question is “what kind of disruptive aesthetic has the power to occupy… attention… in the great global halls of affluence”, how can we answer this, between the two films? Is the political best addressed directly, where it can be immediately understood, or is its impact better felt, without direct invocation?
  • If “the Northern Territory is like Mars compared to the Jupiter of ‘Middle America’”, what specific kinds of approaches might render this most perceptible, not only locally but also globally (and further, how is the global best invoked when the subject matter is primarily that of the local or regional)?
  • Finally, how do we understand the lack of readily-available funding for such crucial projects as those carried out by the Karrabing Film Collective or Peter Britos, when contrasted to the immediate funding provided to other, less critically-oriented films, and how does this lack curtail or contribute to formal innovation?

Instead of the film, although it sounds amazingly wonderful, i want to comment on this great question in Mueke’s footnote, from Povinelli:

“Geontology asks, How do we understand the current formation of power when the figures that emerge from its mechanisms are something like the animist, desert, and the terrorist rather than the masturbating child, the hysterical woman, the perverse adult and the Malthusian couple?”

I wonder if territories, now dead from chemicals, and are like (former) epistemologies now dead from corruption? After dead territories and corrupted power, other potentialities have to open? I was thinking of this recently in Detroit’s industrial dumping sites where new urban plant assemblages have emerged, i.e., strange and spontaneous vegetation doing unexpected things. To me that’s a place where it seems that forces are separated from productive forces. It’s dark ground, it decays from chemicals and corruption, but still…the darkness itself seems to stir things. Perhaps it is not just the current formation of power that causes those figures of ‘animist, desert, and terrorist’ to emerge, but also where, spontaneously, forces free themselves? And then what emerges is another power formation that we don’t yet recognize? If the territory is dead, it opens its potentiality in being dead, but it’s potential is not necessarily from what caused it to be dead?


Reading this I can’t help but think how interesting it would be to take on the role of the omnipotent narrator in the Karrabing Film Collective’s film and ask the two men in the swamp if they are sure that risking irradiation is worth it when they could possibly not be incarcerated at all. I would also mention to the police that it is just beer that was stolen and maybe they should be calling medical personnel to assist the men in the irradiated swamp before they literally die or are irradiated. Beyond that, I was appalled to learn about the devastation of Martinique by Agent Orange and its use in Australia, especially the French Government’s facilitation of its use while it was banned in territorial France! Finally, I found Povinelli’s sense of resignation about the poisoning of the men through radiation off-putting - did she really mean to leave the impression that death is a good alternative to temporary incarceration?


Two great essays. I’m interested in this idea of improvisation as anti-capitalist, even if its terminal prognosis is intimately tied to our own. From what I understand here, improvisation is not transgression in the service of capital expansion, but is or can be anti-capitalist when it becomes a kind of accelerationist aesthetic. This is something that materializes in the exchange between Kelvin and Reggie. I agree with Muecke that we need to think about what kinds of disruptive aesthetics engage the attention of the global affluent, but this is also a question of attunement and amplification. Something like LulzSec and some branches of Anonymous come to mind here, as hacking is both improvisational and threatening to digital apparatuses of security.


Thanks to Jason Adams from the New Centre, for suggesting me to join this conversation on this supercommunity.
This is a very interesting context to share our thoughts and ideas. The topics and post, seem to reflect on really exciting and relevant issues to be discussed now.
So here they go, a few thoughts on this inspiring project by Karrabing Film Collective and the comments- response posted by Stephen Muecke and the others around it : :smiley_cat:

At the speed all is taking and in between dreams and very early morning vigils, since yesterday night, when very late I started to read both texts Povinelli’s and Muecke’s ( including the haunting minute point two secs of the youtube demo video on the film project) a huge wave was building its momentum. This huge wave was of anger and frustration at learning about the ever aberrant outcomes of our pathetic Anthropocene era. Sorry but can’t still come to terms to any positive side of it. Even if listening yesterday afternoon to this great talk by Bruno Latour, sort of relaxed the worry a little.

That massive wave, sided with many others, previously dreamed by the ancestors of the project’s actors in Australia, and by some of us too, seems to tell us about a certain immanence, a liquid powerful force that means something.
Since I was a small child, this big waves also appeared to me in dreams.
Dreams of monstrous, horrifying waves coming and swallowing us.
Those early dreams, where repetitive enough to make me pray for them to go away and never have them back. But not only they never left me, actually, they became part of my nights and life, across time.
In some dreams, the waves where coming from far, and even if I saw them building up from the horizon, I end up staying and waiting for my fate.
I could drown but also be embraced and flow, feeling the rush of water and wet energy of turbulences and a massive vertigo rush.
But on other dreams, I can’t cope with the idea of the immersion, and I scape and run wile other people seem to not realise that this very far away water towers are fast as light.
Then, is all about finding shelter and having been wise enough to react as soon as I see the walls of curly water rise up literally in micro secs of the dreaming-time-speed, from where the sky touches the sea line.
Or alternately, I am walking in a scene, where the water has already passed, all awash and wet. This is for example, (as it was the last time I dreamt) a half of the city of Barcelona.
Of course , having that sort of dreams as part of my life since so early, all that relates to waves, gets in to my guts.
As it is my body that reacts to their images and drawings, even their mentioning.

When the guy at the Karrabing Film Collective’s short demo, is talking about little waves - with his blurred voice as background of repetitive slow beats - I could not help but feeling that wave immediately.
He talks about little waves, but what are little waves if not the early stages of the bigger ones ? another voice next to him says: no…! is a big wave…
So that this recall of waves and waves, and its links to the Aborigen experience of dreams, was also a deep immediate affect added to the rest of information gathered about the project ( a great one! ) and the context of it, plus the thoughts its risen.

On this speedy associations, a few images from past filmic experiences came to mind, also too fast to select or to judge why:

Walkabout’s by Nicolas Roeg 1971 and the then unknown David Gulpilil, representing purity and wiseness on a very 70’s way to remind us of how decadent and guilty we where.
Simultaneously more sequences from Where the Green Ants Dream, by Werner Herzog 1984, appeared with its amazing depictions of more abuse and grim adventures of pitiful white men.
But the intense memory that aroused the already familiar feeling of deep ancestral awe, was connected to the film The Last Wave by Peter Weir.

This Last Wave, was just the kind of wave I had been dreaming about so many times and that I continue to dream till this days.
Its images of drowned folks floating inside their own cars or rooms still haunting me deeply.
It was then in 1977, when the film was released, that I had become more aware of the power of dreams, it coincided with Freud’s book: The Interpretation of Dreams and the readings of Henri Lefebvre, where this clash between our worlds and how they where constructed, our cities or civilisation etc, versus those considered retarded, where all observed and criticised.
It was also the time I had discovered George Kubler’s amazing book, The Shape of Time, and as I was a post-hippy and a proto-punk, the fury, the hatred and the despise about my own world had escalated enough to be compared to a massive wave too.

Now Now Now: this idea of the Big Wave appears today as an accelerated embodiment of mass matter on revolt. For a need for help to wash out our dirt, our toxic waste our disastrous effect on this planet. Mean wile, Tsunamis and the melting of the poles add to this feeling of liquids and waters gathering, rising, collectivising, circulating, amounting, speeding and improvising too.


This conversation is turning into quite a nice collection of thoughts!

In another example, Hari Kunzru’s short story “Drone” takes place in an economic free zone in India where miners are hazardously extracting an unnamed mineral used in electronic components (probably Coltan). The main character, Jai, is perfect in every way except that he is unaugmented by robotic prosthetics and is thus a slower miner than the rest. He goes in debt to get an artificial arm but cannot afford the ad- and bug-free version. Eventually he contracts a Snow Crash-like bio-electric virus from the cheap prosthetic and, at the end of the story (which forms part of a forthcoming novel), Jai has completely wrecked himself in his quest to become even more of a worker than he already was.

If Jai occupies an accelerated aesthetics in that he makes things visible by making them more disgusting (Deleuze reading Nietzsche), then films which take irradiation, Agent Orange or the Agbogbloshie e-waste dump in Ghana as their topics do not need to be finished in order to be discussed. However, the role of “impressionist realism” adds something new to the discussion. While initially exemplified by Jean Rouch and other direct cinema pioneers, perhaps the Russian word “naturscik,” meaning an amateur actor who plays their real-life role in a film (not as in a cameo, but as in a baker playing a baker), would be a more useful approach to what is going on. For no matter how fictional, or rhetorical, such films may be, the naturscik indicates the future-index of cinema, which is to point out not the “I was there,” but rather the “I will be there,” or the “this, I will become.”


@PERCEPTICON your last point about looking at some of these issues in terms of “how does this lack curtail or contribute to formal innovation” provides an interesting pathway for analysis. Beyond the Hollywood or Euro-Art film scope there is a world of traditions and novel experimentation that takes into account all kinds of recombinatory and hybrid aesthetic tactics. As Robert Stam catalogued, some of these strategies and tactics include: the aesthetics of hunger, cigarette butt cinema, cine imperfecto, the aesthetics of garbage, the recuperation of detritus, third world cinema, the third world salmander vs. Hollywood dinosaur, termite terrorism, anthropophagy, tropicalia, rasquachismo, signifying-monkey aesthetics, nomadic aesthetics, diaspora aesthetics, neo-hoodoo aesthetics, Santeria aesthetics. In these traditions and mutations, filmmakers and artist use everything from garbage to Hollywood classics in constructing and deconstructing images of themselves, their communities, first, second and third world constructs, etc.

I agree with @StephenMueke that the Karrabinga Film Collective project is an excellent opportunity to look at projects that are in the process –vs- already product. For one thing it allows us to be more engaged in the moment, and to see the forces of creativity in the middle of uncertainty, financially speaking or otherwise.

Sometimes to get things done we work in the trenches with a monomaniacal focus, so it’s nice to look up and see projects like The Stealing Cnt$* that deal with similar issues to Mango Dreams (financing, dispossession, alienation, indigenous beliefs, faceless bureaucracies, non-professional actors, scheduling mayhem, colonialism, sovereignty, military presence, local and native wisdom, survival in the “postcolonial”, the politics of time-space, the politics of chronotopia—in a textual, Bakhtinian sense….).

Considering projects that are in process highlights what gets buried (literally and figuratively) and what gets institutional or corporate support. For example in the entertainment realm in Hawaii, pro-military or white romance is privileged and romanticized (i.e., George Clooney’s brown-face romantic tragedy The Descendants, Bradley Cooper’s Aloha, Sandler’s 50 First Dates, even Battleship and Pearl Harbor). Meanwhile legitimate indigenous projects are forced to work as 4th world projects in the middle of astounding affluence. This is in part a political game of “ideal representations” as epitomized by television series like Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., etc. I recently had a producer tell me that Mango Dreams would not be worth presenting for funding because we hadn’t spent at least $250,000, the benchmark to qualify for state tax credits. But more to the point of Povenelli, what comes out of such struggle is a kind of “improvisational realism” that is difficult for the capitalized mainstream to envision or produce much less fund or support. They don’t speak the language of the characters, nor understand the cultural rhythms, nor have access to our stories and internal thought processes.

Underbelly cinema is the last-stand pathway if we want such projects to get off the ground, much less completed. And while difficult and certainly not ideal, that’s not exactly a bad thing in terms of aesthetic outcomes, truth or performance, improvisational or otherwise.


The two contributions and the subsequent discussion contain an extremely inspiring set of ideas on how we can come to terms with our existence in contemporary reality. Observing Povinelli unfolding her concept of corruption, I have to think of Reza Negarestani’s subtitle to his book “Cyclonopedia” which is, of course, “Complicity with anonymous materials.” If corruption is not only a term for individual misbehavior in quotidian politics, but a notion for our fundamentally inappropriate relation to materiality, complicity is its direct counterpart. The film project as well as Povinelli’s theoretical practice seem to be an exercice in complicity with the various materials we are entangled in. Merleau-Ponty has some terms for this such as empiètement, enjambement or chiasme.

It is not by chance that I think of him in this context as, in his last, unfinished project before his death “Le Visible et l’Invisible” MMP proposed not only a different approach to reality, but a critical and constructive reflection on what we mean by the very term “approach”. Among lots of beautifully written, brilliant remarks and ideas, we find a passage where he implicitly claims the shift away from a paradigm of “accès” and “contact.” The outside of France regrettably much neglected philosopher Jocelyn Benoist has adopted this and applied it to fundamental philosophical problems, particularly in his book “Eléments d’une philosophie réaliste.” The main argument is that there is no such thing as access to reality (a critical view that has been equally expressed by Meillassoux) because we are always already in a more or less intimate contact with the real that we have to develop philosophically, artistically, politically etc. (Again Merleau-Ponty’s term: promiscuité avec le réel)

It seems to me that Povinelli and the Karrabing Film Collective engage in a project that tries to do justice to this very shift. But whereas Negarestani’s materials are anonymous (which of course can also be read as hyperbole), theirs (at least some of them) are known, they have names, origins, owners and administrators. But knowledge alone doesn’t help to solve things. This is the world we live in: we have the facts, the theory and the technologies, but as long as some geontological formation occupies the space, there is no chance to apply these technologies for beneficial purposes. Accelerationism emerges as a protest of the geontology of liberalism. It’s a name for the aspiration that tries to liberate factual, theoretical and technological potentials from their suppressed geonotological sterilization.

Nevertheless, the possible future (or even the possible present) that Povinelli alludes to at the end of the text in an unsentimental gesture of hope that is typical for her work, is not a probabilistic scenario designed in a naïve act of utopian imagination. It is a move towards the future that doesn’t fall in the illusionist trap of giving up the reality of an absolute contingent world. “No one can foresee what forms of existence can be held onto, which ones reshaped in this milieu—themselves included—in this small pocket of corruption.”

Playing with possibilities without trivializing the radical contingency of the game, and in a way that transforms corruption into complicity is a completely different practice than envisioning possible worlds in a simplistic ontological framework or engaging in tired “critique” of the establishment or the system. We are immersed in a world that can (on the line of argument with Elie Ayache) no longer be described in terms of probability and possible states. This is why, in my view, the last word of the text should rather be “virtualities” than “possibilities”.

A practice is needed that posits the world not as a dark profundity that has to be enlightened nor as a mere surface that has to be accepted as it is. With the help of Merleau-Ponty’s imaginary, we could say it’s a relief, a perforated relief. The key point of the relief as a metaphor for a space is that being a surface it has a certain profundity. Even more importantly, it is constantly in motion (it could be the result of an ongoing volcanic activity), but we hardly ever directly experience its wanderings, its quakes, its fissures (at least not in the moderate temperate zones of our culture).

A practice that has to engage with this kind of spatial formation and ensure the survival in a zone of intensified danger and uncertainty, has to replace or at least enrich knowledge with alertness, and scripted performances of what the essay brilliantly calls “improvisational realism.” If this practice needs a name we can call it metics. Recently, this term has been resuscitated for the context of contemporary politics and aesthetics by Alex Williams, one of the co-authors of the accelerationist manifesto. It aims precisely towards a practice that engages in the complicity with its anonymous materials, that improvises with what is there in order to survive, in order to reflect on the conditions of its own survival and to experiment with other forms of material entanglements that could possibly institutionalize new forms of politics, aesthetics and social life. It is a practice that challenges praxis and theoria and the dualistic framework in which both terms are continually coerced.

Surviving under these circumstances becomes a curatorial practice. Marginalized terms such as endurance, hope and survival itself, that are frequently addressed in Povinelli’s work should move closer to the center (if there is one) of our engagement with contemporary reality and our future (if we have one).


How interesting! Associative chains of extraordinary power: corruption is rot, rot is consumption, consumption is burning, burning is desire, desire is envy, envy is film, film is transubstantiation, all is spirit, the world is re-enchanting, oh how I wish! I too used to have a recurring dream: one day all the people came out of their houses and started to tear up the asphalt and the concrete that was asphyxiating the surface of the earth, enabling breath. But here I learn the innocence of that dream, as breathing itself has been rendered ghastly by the winds unleashed by corruption, and the earth itself is replete with poison better covered over than unleashed. Not different from New Jersey. Not different from Detroit. Povinelli and her collaborators have forged (burned) for us the most extraordinary kind of film, bringing a medium that was originally materially combustible in itself to regard the fire next time. “It was burned into my retinas,” said Hiroshima survivor Keiji Nakasawa, of the flash bang. This is filmmaking degree zero, the very reason Prometheus stole fire. Let us learn what is to be done before the vultures pick our viscera totally and completely clean


@Laura_Wexler As we prepare a digest of these conversations today for a massive mailout tomorrow, I am reminded of the extraordinary material that is being produced here in bits and parts in the form of comments and counterarguments.


Yes, indeed, and there is a big wave with cyclone in Alexis Wright’s novel, Carpentaria, too, which is perhaps a metaphor for the kinds of hyperobjects (Morton) engulfing at once ‘the real’ and its representations, levelling them…

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From a set of cultures in Northern Australia where suicide was no ‘social fact’ for the grandparents, these kids’ generation has the one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world…


yes, @nsgrove what I mean by (not) ‘getting away with it’ is to keep telling stories, like this one, about how there is nowhere to get away to (with your profits or poisons). We are all ‘complicit’ (with anonymous materials…)


@smuecke Thanks for your feedback ! will def check out the references you mention, I like also the thought of the hyperobject self forming as wave, and engulfing the real its representations wile levelling them.
There are also is the huge object like mountains stone made and awash by waves so that waves appear by been absent too.
I was trying to find clues of why waves are so important for Australian Aborigen, if any advanced studies had been made about such symbols and interpreted with all possible respect even if that stills been a question for all of us that relate to other cultures considered (polemically) primitive or underdeveloped.

I was also commenting about my own dreams of massive waves as to declare that on those kind of dreams about those natural phenomena as waves are, one has not a race not a social belonging, one melts or dilutes on symbolic ancestry as the ever existing water and waves are, but also as shapes as forms of transport as structure. And how for many that belong to various points of view those waves talk to us.

This was one question to me, and this is: how is the accelerated stance going to engage with subjects like the community that works with Povinelli? Is there already a set of text or ideas about how to deal with this much wiser and slower lives?

I like to quote this text I just found two days ago by JT Demos , Against the Anthropocene:

Even Bruno Latour, otherwise given over to adopting Anthropocene vocabulary (and liberally using its universalizing rhetoric of “human agency”, recognizes its propensity to disavow the differential responsibilities of climate change: “Hundreds of different people”—such as Indian nations in the Amazonian forest; “poor blokes in the slums of Mumbai”; workers subjected to long commutes owing to lack of affordable housing—“will at once raise their voice and say they feel no responsibility whatsoever for those deeds at a geological scale,” Latour notes. That is, even as he validates the concept so long as anthropos signifies—against its very terminological implications—a differentiated “people with contradictory interest, opposing cosmoses,” even “warring entities.”

We’ve been following as best we can the great conversation, here where mobile phone coverage spotty to say the least because the settler state finds no reason to build any infrastructure other than that which aides extractive capital. Our mobile phones wedge into broken fly screen where someone has found a signal bouncing off who knows which satellite and cinder block house. We discuss what acceleration is for whom, what forms it takes. Some of us note that Life expectancy is accelerating downwards here as kids are ever more prone to suicide and drug abuse. Others of us quip that the trigger warnings that some students in privileged US universities use to protect themselves for emotional harms increasingly translate here as text alerts of cops barreling down on the community to arrest someone, spill grog, and generally harass local men and women because that is what they are paid to do and that how their shiny cars and brand new weapons are accelerating the militarization of the police force for some communities rather than others. The question here is not acceleration per se but as Muecke puts it so nicely, how to create a directionality for various modes of acceleration—what about focusing on what acceleration looks like from the remote, or sealed off, or seen only via the visored perspective of a battalion of police putting down more nameless rioters or of a squadron from the CDC or WHO compating viral or nuclear contamination, because that’s what’s taking off here where extractive capital has abandoned its sovereign claims once the toxic chemicals have taken over, little drip by little drip. Yes absolutely: use acceleration to make a space for a counterforce, an otherwise to the rapacious digestion of some of our forms of existence!


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