This issue of Interfere Journal invites contributions in political theory that analyze transformation through crisis. Topics for consideration include but are not limited to:
- Apocalyptic and utopian imaginaries and speculations towards an otherwise
- Riots and revolutions
- Inspirations and excavations from the past
- The ‘stickiness’ of heteropatriarchal and white supremacist relations
- Alternative environmental knowledges and relations to land and resources.
From Brazil’s wetlands to the Australian bush to the US west coast to the Arctic Circle, skies glow orange as the climate crisis burns. At the same time, the movement for Black lives sets light to precincts and keeps the uprising against police violence blazing. A pandemic ravages social systems, exacerbating inequalities and laying bare the impossibility of capitalist systems to tend to human and non-human life. Everywhere, there are reassessments of individual, collective and institutional responsibility. New ways of organizing erupt around housing and mutual aid; elsewhere protests spread from the streets to take over institutions. Fire rages, destroys… and transforms.
This issue takes as its spark the 1983 urgent and passionate feminist sci-fi film Born in Flames. Exploring the complex discriminations and overlapping structures of oppression now called ‘intersectionality’, the realities of community organising and direct action, Born in Flames compels us to engage the power of the political imaginary for shaping the future. These issues have been exacerbated in the last four decades. From within the flames of today we ask who makes and keeps this world? How can we act as more than just the fire brigade, act beyond a defense mentality and just maintaining the status quo? How to fight for a better future for all – not just some? What resources and imaginaries are already available? Transformation is temporally complex, complicating notions of before/during/after the apocalypse or revolution. The fires already burn.
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” Arundhati Roy, The Pandemic is a Portal, FT.com