By Báyò Akómoláfé, re-posted from social media (July 12, 2022)
With regards to climate chaos, I find that what is most needed in these moments is more than just political will, new solutions, techno-bureaucratic agency, amplified activism, green legislation, international compliance, indigenous participation, civic education, and intensified philanthropy. We need a break.
Some sort of ontological apostasy is required to compost the human agent, dragging him away from his centralized throne. Something that flashes up, trips up, and offends – like the shaman’s knife poised on the client’s arm. Something that enacts a pause – in the spirit of Wendell Berry’s invitation to consider that “the impeded stream is the one that sings”.
Zizek calls this disruption an event; I call it “breaks” or “cracks”. By “breaks”, I refer to transversal events that disrupt the smooth continuity of the modern subject. A trip-epistemology, if you will. Something that decenters the knowing subject, recasting him as the known. Something that forcefully demonstrates that the Human project – tied to legacies of the 19th century Enlightenment movements – is heavily indebted to and subsidized by the more-than-human.
Until the modern subject is crippled, tripped up, split open, impeded, disrupted, offended, paused, and defeated (a la Rilke), we will continue to roam the dry wastelands of a modern cosmovision suddenly drowning in waters too deep for its placemaking rituals.