Earth Talk: We will not be reborn in neat places


Home holds many meanings for us. It is a place of warmth, a sense of being rooted and known and accepted. Our mooring spot in an ultimately unmappable and threatening universe. As such, being without a home can be understandably tragic.

In this Earth Talk, recorded on Wednesday, 21 October, 2015, Bayo Akomolafe frames historical tensions, colonial incursions and the evolution of ecological-economic-political configurations in terms of our collective quests for a place in the universe. He considers how our modern culture is rupturing, and how our fundamental assumptions about the universe – agency and intentionality as a function of human intelligence, causality, matter as independent inertia, the subject-object duality, the theo-clinical primacy of the ego, or even the givenness of time – are being reimagined. We no longer live in ‘reserved areas’ on the earth; we are part of its wildness, one with the shadows, produced by the monstrous. And yet, as Bayo surmises, this ‘tragedy’ of homelessness is our one most singular source of new hope, an occasion for turning to each other in small queer ways, and an acknowledgement that we are being reborn and reframed and reconfigured – even though not in the neat ways we anticipated.

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