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Worshipping Lali

The Apocalypse happened yesterday

By 2017, the European Union had 10 incidences of oil spills in 40 years; Nigeria, on the other hand – with Shell Oil pipelines snaking through the Niger Delta since the 70s – had 9343 cases of oil spills…in 10 years.

2030 might be the new well-intentioned deadline for those anxious about climate collapse. The date when the world as we know it, and the conveniences we’ve enjoyed, cease to exist. But the world has ended many times before: in 1526 with the first transatlantic slave expedition; 1607 with the disembarkation of the British colonists on the shores of the ‘New World’; 1945…with the detonation of the atomic bombs in Alamogordo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 1995 with the death of Ken Saro Wiwa.

By framing the Anthropocene entirely as a matter of future apocalypses, by capitulating to the dynamics of repair and rushing to solutions endorsed by the promissory notes of an elusive future, we lose sight of the Anthropocene’s lingering legacies of colonial devastation.

2 Comments
  • Taraneh Sarrafzadeh on March 31, 2020

    Wow what a foresight and grand context to this moment! Grateful to have found this piece of wisdom in this moment.

  • Jessica Campain on April 1, 2020

    9,343 cases in 10 years…This figure is staggering. As a teenager, I remember meeting Owens Wiwa through a Sierra Club event. He gifted us profoundly when he shared his story with us. He illuminated his brother’s courage, willingness to speak the truth in the face of brutal opposition, and the dear cost we all paid with his execution.

    I can see how we find reprieve from arriving in our full experience of the highlight and shadow spectrum of truth when we rationalize a preparatory mindset when relating to the Anthropocene. Almost a way of seeming to take responsibility without having to actually do so.

    As always, thank you for your offerings.

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Falling might very well be flying – without the tyranny of coordinates.