The cosmopolitics of food futures: imagining nature, law, and apocalypse

Jocelyn Bosse, Susannah Chapman, Xan Chacko

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Abstract

The stories we tell about the world, through worlding practices such as films, open the possibilities of certain futures, while foreclosing other imaginable ones. Attuned to recent work on political ontology that takes contests over ‘how the world is’ as a starting point for navigating the degradation and uncertainty of life in the Anthropocene, we trace how two films released in 2016, Seed: The Untold Story and Food Evolution, weave different – though sometimes similar – accounts of the past in order to present precarious futures that are best served through particular interventions. To the extent that both films render accounts of precarious futures saved by science or conservation, we argue that they provide compelling spaces, following Isabelle Stengers’s ‘Cosmopolitical Proposal’, to slow down: to pause and consider the types of worlds that are brought into being – and those that are foreclosed – in their portrayal of the crises of climate and food. We follow this worlding practice through four threads developed in each film: the momentum of apocalypse, the boundaries of the natural, the politics of law, and the cures for precarity. Focusing on the politics of representation mobilized in each film, we enact a feminist praxis of slowing down.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-857
JournalContinuum
Volume34
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2020

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