July 2021 Issue

What do we do with all this waste, debris, discard, junk, litter, and refuse? How can we reconstitute what life looks like on a polluted planet? Ecofeminist theorist Donna Haraway's view of "human-as-humus" reminds us that we share the same etymological roots as the earth and soil we step on. Viewing humans as one with mud muddles our speciesist superiority: as Haraway insists, “we are compost, not posthuman.” How can compost cinema turn trash into treasure? Philosopher Slavoj Žižek inspects an urban landfill in Astra Taylor's Examined Life, explaining the need to strip "ecology" of its pristine, pastoral connotations. Žižek and Haraway, along with ecocritics such as Jane Bennett, urge us to reconceptualize garbage, rot, and decay in the climate emergency. This collection of foraged films force us to recognize the vitality of so-called "dead matter" and reprocess what we know about nature/culture.

Issue curated by Jamie Uy.

Waste Land

Lucy Walker United Kingdom, Brazil 2010

Trace Evidence

Susan Schuppli United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, Canada 2016