“Their struggle is our struggle, everywhere, in every city, in every country of the world. We are in a very difficult moment, in a terrible moment of humankind, but there is hope, the Zapatistas illustrate that hope. We can build something different with that hope in our hands”. Gustavo Esteva
Launched in January 2014, the histories of violence “Disposable Life” project interrogates the meaning of mass violence and human destruction in the 21st Century. Inviting critical reflections from renowned public intellectuals, artists and writers, this three year project will feature a series of monthly filmed reflections from our illustrious list of participants (see contributors below); a subsequent feature film for public broadcast; accompanying book of complementary essays and associated publications/media articles; along with a series of global events that will bring together the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to offer innovative and publicly engaging forums to inform debate and rethink the ideals of global citizenship.
We are honoured that the sixth contribution to our reflections series is provided by the renowned environmental activist, post-development theorist and Latin American scholar Gustavo Esteva. Drawing our attentions to the indigenous Maya communities affiliated with the Zapatista liberation movement of Chiapas, Mexico, he challenges us to understand the systematic conditions that produce the most extreme conditions of poverty and oppression. Despite their continued exploitation and desperate plight, Esteva’s message from the indigenous however remains one of optimism and promise. For even here, amongst the poorest of the poor, the fight for dignity and political autonomy remains. Countering the politics of disposability, Esteva thus presents us to a picture of hope and a pedagogical imperative to rethink the world for the better.
*Official Imagery for the Disposable Life Project: Gottfried Helnwein, “I Walk Alone”. All copyright and reproduction rights reserved by artist. For details on the artist works visit the official site by clicking here
“Mass violence is poorly understood if it simply refers to casualties on battlefields or continues to be framed through conventional notions of warfare. We need to interrogate the multiple ways in which entire populations are rendered disposable on a daily basis if we are to take seriously the meaning of global citizenship in the 21st Century”. More details of the project are available here
So far we have released monthly reflections from Cynthia Enloe, Simon Critchley, Zygmunt Bauman, & Henry A. Giroux. Coming soon will be reflections from Gayatri Spivak, Gustavo Esteva, Jean Franco, Slavoj Zizek, Etienne Balibar, Richard Sennett, Saskia Sassen and David Theo Goldberg to name a few. All the released productions can be viewed in full here
Confirmed participants for the film series will further include amongst others, Gil Anidjar, Bracha Ettinger, Coco Fusco, Nancy Fraser, Carol Gluck, Lewis Gordon, Jane Gordon, Gregg Lambert, Rozena Maart, Achille Mbembe, Adrian Parr, Anyana Roy, Max Silverman & Cary Wolfe. Full biographies of all the projects contributors are available here
Join The Debate Disposable Futures
As part of the Disposable Life project, the Histories of Violence project is proud to have partnered with TruthOut to create a forum for broader public discussion on the theme of “disposable futures.” We are inviting contributions, details can be found here
Articles from the project have already featured in Al Jazeera, The Independent (UK), Social Europe, TruthOut & World Economic Review to name a few. These can be viewed here. Further publications will include a number of monographs, an edited book and edited special journal editions. Details of each of these publications will available upon release.