Bruno Latour & Frédérique Aït-TouatiMake it Work − Le théâtre des négociations, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, 2015.
Photo: Martin Argyroglo

The Tactical Realism of the Tribunal: Art Fights Climate Crime

Marie J. Jean
Climate change produces a deeply existential human crisis whose symptoms can be measured against the eco-anxiety that many people now feel. We observe, often with a sense of powerlessness, the repercussions of global warming, pollution, and barbaric exploitation of resources, which already are leading to disasters and causing the extinction of countless species. A similar fear was palpable during the Cold War, when nuclear weapons raised concerns about the extermination of most life on Earth. Yet this threat was hypothetical in comparison with what climate change represents today.1 1 - Naomi Klein elaborates on the relationship between the two phenomena in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2014), 13.

The independent international group Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has concluded that more than one million plant and animal species are currently endangered. Scientists are even invoking the spectre of a sixth mass extinction. Faced with this possibility, governmental institutions often appeal to the rhetoric of resilience. Endowed with a positive aura, this notion is presented as an adaptive force able to help us overcome the inevitable impact of the current crisis. Yet by elevating the resilient individual to “hero” status, are we not shirking our obligations to various populations, fauna, and flora? Doesn’t resorting to the concept of resilience then become a convenient smokescreen for neoliberal policy?

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This article also appears in the issue 108 - Resilience

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