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C& and C&AL Joint Print Issue: Ecologies

This issue invites organizations, artists, and activists from Black and Indigenous perspectives to discuss, contextualize, and reflect on the relationship between neocolonial structures and the climate crisis in their local contexts.

The questions about ecology posed in this issue do not go in straight lines. They go in circles, back and forth, up and down. We use this geometrical metaphor because Black Ecologies need to be approached from a diverse set of angles. Rosa Chávez shares her connection with the earth through two strong poems by recalling Kʼicheʼ symbols that show how the body and soul are the same as nature. In Decentering the I, Will Furtado remarks that new approaches to ecology are still seen as unfeasible due to the predominant influence of a narcissistic white culture. Architectural scientist, designer, and educator Mae-ling Lokko talks to Edna Bonhomme about how people can adapt ways to reframe the role of ecology in daily life by renewing waste, in this case using fungi materials. Artist Ethel Tawe recalls the poetry and lives of photo albums, having chosen one made by her father for an artist book in the series Timescapes. In the opening text of her work, she writes that “change and transience are illustrated through the temporalities and frequencies of touch.”

An interview with Edgar Kanaykõ by Lorena Vicini and an essay about Abel Rodríguez’s practice by Natalia Lavigne underline how both artists center their Indigenous roots to explain how the hierarchization of their tribes cannot be conceived without counting trees, animals, and biological organisms as part of their geopolitical field. In the text Flowers on the Expressway, V for 5 describes her connection with the life of Kakamega Forest. Through an intimate reflection, the artist remembers its importance to the history of Nairobi and how native flora (such as the mugumo tree) represent resistance and ancestrality. At a time in which societal and political tensions have increased in Haiti, Kolektif 2 Dimansyon shows Serine ahefa Mekoun how photography can be immersed in Haiti in collective actions that support vulnerable populations. Ama Josephine Budge argues against internalizing the purely aesthetic use of Black bodies in climate campaigns and for resisting climate colonialism through a capacious, trans-temporal Blackness.

In the context of a studio visit with the collective Tiempo de Zafra, Yina Jiménez Suriel reflects on how their work with excess and textile waste imagines spaces of possibilities that subvert capitalist dynamics while generating visualities. Sonia Barrett’s installation Suspended, soft, tender, Clouds (2019) criticizes the notion of Blackness in aesthetics and terminologies misused for ecological purposes. A conversation between Ann Mbuti and artists Imani Jacqueline Brown and Zayaan Khan raises questions about living on land that is shaped by racial violence and colonial entanglements. How to extract from the richness and knowledge of the soil without being exploitive? As they agree, it’s the stories we tell that have built our world.

Read the full issue here.


*(K’iche’) A natural dye made from orange-colored insects (llaveia axin) bearing the same name.

** Translation from Spanish by Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez