Rajković, Ivan. Introduction: Against the Green Screen. | Rivers to the People: Ecopopulist Universality in the Balkan Mountains.
In: Rajković, Ivan (ed.). 2020. “Green Capitalism and Its Others.” Theorizing the Contemporary, Fieldsights, March 24.
Read all essays online: Green Capitalism and Its Others.
Whither the Earth? From the Amazon fires to the Arctic melt, School Strikes for Climate and an American Anthropological Association meeting focused on the topic, the year 2019 marked an unprecedented momentum in discussions of our planetary futures. In many parts of the globe, climate change denial is giving way to a growing consensus about the proportions of the danger, and the capital seems to have followed suit. But what are the implications of this epic shift? As the urgency of anthropogenic climate change unfolds in front of us, this collection takes a moment to reflect on the political, socioeconomic, and ethical work done in its name. By attending to the “grey” residues behind the “green” screens—lives and processes hidden behind the authoritative figures of planetary crisis—it chronicles the transforming forms of dispossession and othering, submission, lie, and waste done in the name of greening capital. In many ways, green capitalism is repeating the spoils of its older brothers—colonialism, carbon democracy, development—inducing what some call “climate apartheid.” But the division is not so neat, for, along with the risks, the situation also presents an array of gains, differentially distributed across the vectors of nation and race, class, gender, and age. The same sense of opportunity echoes in the ongoing social movements—civic and insurgent, indigenous and generational, left and right—who, while trying to seize the green from the state–capital embrace, end up discovering new forms of authority, community, and knowledge-making in the process. This collection thus calls for understanding the climate change as a revolution of not only geological (Anthropocene) and world history (Capitalocene) frames, but of the ways the political horizon shifts for all engaged. Whither the Earthlings?