Anthropocene: victims, narrators, and revolutionaries

Article


Armiero, Marco and De Angelis, M. 2017. Anthropocene: victims, narrators, and revolutionaries. South Atlantic Quarterly. 116 (2), pp. 345-362.
AuthorsArmiero, Marco and De Angelis, M.
Abstract

The absence of a reflection on revolutionary practices and subjects is the main weakness of the radical critique of the Anthropocene. The risk is to envision the Anthropocene as a space for villains and victims but not for revolutionaries. In this respect we believe that it is crucial to challenge the (in)visibility and (un)knowability of the Anthropocene beyond geological strata and planetary boundaries. We argue that as the Capitalocene, the Anthropocene has left its traces in the bodies of people upon which the new epoch has been created. The traces of the Capitalocene are not only in geological strata but also in the biological and genetic strata of human bodies; exploitation, subordination, and inequalities are inscribed into the human body and experienced, visible and knowable by subalterns without the mediation of – many times actually in opposition to – mainstream scientific knowledge. We inflect the concept of Capitalocene with our own Wasteocene, which serves to stress the contaminating nature of capitalism and its perdurance within the socio-biological fabric, its accumulation of externali-ties inside both the human and the Earth's body. We envision the Wasteocene as one of the features of the Capitalocene, especially adapted to demystify the mainstream narratives of the Anthropocene. In order to enhance our arguments we build upon the findings of the global Environmental Justice atlas (hereafter EJOLT atlas) of environmental conflicts and on our own in-depth research on the struggles against toxic contamination in Campania, Italy.

JournalSouth Atlantic Quarterly
Journal citation116 (2), pp. 345-362
ISSN0038-2876
Year2017
PublisherDuke University Press
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1215/00382876-3829445
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3829445
Publication dates
Print01 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Nov 2016
Accepted2016
Copyright information© 2016 Duke University Press
LicenseAll rights reserved
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