Reading Diary: Locating Methodologies
Some pretty lofty goals in the text by Wynter/McKittrick defining humanness and pointing out categories and problems with classification and attribution and examination of Western colonial epistemology. I had not read the aforementioned work that defined Man1 and Man2. The voice I used to read it had an underlying panic. Maybe that was me, but it seemed like the struggle for the authors to define how and why humans are how they are and why they are was a task too far. They went so far as to reclassify and conceive humanity to the point where it was declared that human activities are not responsible for climate change. I look forward to learning what I missed as I labored over it; the complexity and density of the text was difficult for me to grasp.
Meeting Mirwan Andan of Ruangrupa this summer was a standout experience where his simple storytelling, in combination with the experience of Documenta 15 introduced me to concepts that in my naïve and blinkered western upbringing I was fairly unaware of. When I heard about them, it felt so obvious. This text - Friction by Anna Tsing reminded me of the philosophy of Ruangrupa, and specifically the issues of the exploitation of natural resources in Jakarta and the surrounding islands.
I'll probably go back to this text.
I often think of the story where activists in Britain when they were protesting the Newbury bypass in 1996. The protestors lived in the trees for awhile. The most dramatic scene I remember is an activist who place that arm in 55 gallon oil barrel filled it up with concrete so their arm was submerged in the concrete and then suspended the barrel between two trees and they lay in a hammock as a tress protector 30 feet in the air. If the barrel fell her arm would have been ripped off. Eventually and using methods I'm not really aware of, the protester was removed from the protest site and all the trees got cut down. I am a custodian of some woodland that I purchased 20 years ago and where I live today. A neighbor recently sold some land to a person from the city, but they didn't want the forest because they didn't want to have to look after all the trees, they had no idea that the forest can look after itself without intervention from humans. Not looking after our ecosystem winds me up. I return to the recommendation by the artist Char Davies who told me that if I go deep into the woods I should take off my glasses and experience the forest as an entity and not as an opportunity.