Series | Epistemologies of the South Working Group | Forging Paths

Seminar | Epistemologies of the South Working Group

Necro-Industries, Climate Trauma and the Green Opium of the Progressed

Irina Velicu (CES)

May 10th, 2023, 16h00

Room 1, CES | Alta

Comments: Boaventura de Sousa Santos (CES)


Ecomodernism becomes incorporated in the ideology of capitalist growth as a new (´green´) opium of the progressed. Education for “green” citizenship in its depoliticized form is now abundant. However, the threat of a nuclear war makes us think less about the “distant” climate apocalypse and more about the “here and now” of slow motion political disasters. The “green” transition turns into “brown” extractivism over night, as oil and coal are celebrating a comeback. When global policies demand transitions and reconciliation but wars are ongoing, a refusal to act can be motivated by a commitment to care for a broader collective space of meaning-making, taking the time to discern what may be left out, once again, from new communities of victims and perpetrators. What kind of dangers are we talking about now, when “green” capitalism is being sold as the new panacea? How to remain critical when it tries to mass-commodify nuclear energy as ´green´ in the same factories of ´cheap natures´ of war? Placing the Balkans in this global coloniality of necro-power is still a work in process.

(The title of this seminar is based on a contribution to the Berliner Gazette’s “After Extractivism” text series)