Ecozon@ | Contemporary Collapse: New Narratives of the End | University of Alcalá | nov. 2023

Ecozon@ vol 14, no. 2 features a special section on the “Contemporary Collapse: New Narratives of the End”, University of Alcalá (Spain)

Industrial human activities are transforming much of our Earth’s surface and beyond, including the planetary climate itself and all its contributing flows and cycles, but also the rocky, geological Underworld. In the wake of the massive and extraordinarily rapid alterations to our living ecosystems and to their undergirding of mineral support as we frack away at the outer layers of the our world in order to extract fossil fuels while injecting secret industrial poisons, creative authors and artists imagine new narrative forms of collapse and apocalypse. Although many of these tales and artworks feature the popular tropes often labeled “catastrophe porn” for their dwelling on death and destruction in a frenzy of cultural and ecological toxicity and emerging ruins of modern urban landscapes, there are other inspired stories focusing instead on wildly divergent forms of care that emerge within catastrophes. Who and what are left to care, for example, and to be cared for, these authors ask, and in what forms among the rubble and on the overheated planet of expanding storm systems? There are forms of care dedicated not only to the many types of “humans” (for what is it to be human today?), but also to beings who are nonhuman, posthuman, more than human, or even to entire ecosystems, and especially to our co-species and the plants that started it all, this pioneering march across the once rocky Earth’s surface that we humans have now shifted into a march of monocrop plantations, deforested desertification, and industrial, fossil-fueled agriculture. Let us seek and consider narratives of care in which caring is carried out by, or for, manifold human beings in their variegated spectrum of genders, but also the nonhuman, hybrid forms, cyborgs, cross-species beings, and entangled beings enacting symbiosis; one might find, too, tales of the “end” that present or imagine trans-kinds of care and queer forms of care that share much with Donna Haraway’s vision of “oddkin” in Staying with the Trouble. If forests and plants produce living systems enabling all large land animals including humankind and our companion species, does this qualify as “care”? Is reforestation care when it also benefits us during our march towards devastation? What kinds of plants or weeds remain or will remain in the future, and what animal beings and single-celled creatures will live on? What hybrids emerge, and will we care for them, will they care for us? In short, can we industrial humans, in our manifold collapse-imaginings, formulate new/renewed/old kinds of care that extend beyond our self and limited vision of families or of those who are claimed to “matter” due to their finances / skin color / religion / class / geographical/national location? Indeed, this special edition of Ecozon@ dedicated to “Contemporary Collapse: New Narratives of the End” resonates with reshaped or rediscovered ideas of care extending across all kinds of beings who are nonhuman, posthuman, vegetal, animal, alien, cyborg, and more. These narrativeand artistic visions of life acknowledge how we are all (meaning “we,” now, as all living things) transformed by colonial, extractivist, imperialist, and economically “rationalist” waste-cultures; in response, several of the authors and artists in this volume feature cyclical time-frames, which is to say, they have overcome the linear claims of “progress” that seems to be moving inexorably toward calamity, and have re-inserted human cultures back into the vegetal and seasonal cycles in which we always have been immersed, despite our “illusions of disembeddedness” (to quote Val Plumwood’s Environmental Culture and Eric Otto’s discussion of Plumwood in Green Speculations). Ecozon@ 14.2 features analyses and stories that rethink human beings from within the entangled and trans-corporeal world of living things that we are changing and, perhaps, caring for or about, as they, too, change us and, one can hope, care for us, during these drastic times.

Citer ce billet
vincentlecomte (2023, 2 novembre). Ecozon@ | Contemporary Collapse: New Narratives of the End | University of Alcalá | nov. 2023. Animots. Consulté le 27 mai 2024, à l’adresse


Vincent Lecomte est artiste, chercheur et enseignant en esthétique. Sa thèse, « Un Penser animal à l’œuvre », étudie les façons dont l’art convoque l’animal pour mettre en évidence d’autres consciences possibles du monde.

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