Tuesday, October 24, 2017

On Aronofsky and Climate Change

An article that mixes philosophy, film, and climate change - three of my favourite topics of discussion! Nolan Gear writes about Aronofky's film mother!

"What could it mean for this story to be one of abundant refuge rather than home invasion? How must we reinvent hospitality now that rates of homelessness, landlessness, will only continue to rise exponentially in the wake of climate devastation? [...] Tsing insists that “staying alive — for every species — requires livable collaborations. Collaboration means working across difference, which leads to contamination.” This contamination is both transformation and loss: according to Tsing, we must risk our integrity and self-possession if we wish to live.[...]This mutual undoing is where hospitality begins: not despite or instead of but through disorientation and loss. What’s certain is that we need films that cook up collaborative contaminations — not xenophobic paranoia."
What do we need to see in our culture, in our films and music and art and media, that will actually help us eke out a few more decades of life? Mother! is a warning cry that comes way too late in the game and would have been completely ignored if it had come any earlier. What does it look like to develop a narrative, a social imaginary, that allows for collaborative contaminations?


Owen Gray said...

Good question, Marie. But when collaboration and contamination are used in the same sentence, lots of folks will refuse to open their minds. Which is another way of saying that "contamination" must be defined.

Marie Snyder said...

From the book, about human relations with non-human species: "We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds--and new direction--may emerge. Everyone carries a history of contamination; purity is not an option.[...] In popular American fantasies, survival is all about saving oneself by fighting off others.[...] Scholars have imagined survival as the advancement of individual interests.[...] Consider the twin master sciences of the twentieth century, neoclassical economics and population genetics.[...] The problem of precarious survival helps us see what is wrong. Precarity is a state of acknowledgment of our vulnerability to others. In order to survive, we need help, and help is always the service of another [...] The diversity that allows us to enter collaborations emerges from histories of extermination, imperialism, and al the rest. Contamination makes diversity."

Does that help?

The Mound of Sound said...

I've recently concluded that we must first overcome the forces of divisiveness that have grown so huge, so intractable and constantly widen the rifts in our society. This emerges in the fear and anger, even paranoia, across the political spectrum. That eliminates any prospect of repairing the essential social cohesion without which our prospects are pretty grim. There was a time in this country when left and right fiercely disagreed yet accepted that the other side was acting in the best interests of the country as they understood it. Surely that's what distinguishes a society from packs of feral predators at each others' throats. I am convinced there's nothing inadvertent either in this rise of warring camps. In my view it's a matter of deliberate conditioning designed to leave us weak and incapable of pursuing common interest.

Marie Snyder said...

I think you're right, Mound. Keep the riffraff arguing amongst themselves while the elites play games. And now we have left and right disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing, sometimes refusing to support one another's proposals when they actually world work for everyone. It's childish and petty. We have to find little connections between groups, highlight them, foster them, and break open those cracks in the walls.