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On anti-relationality: constraint, Eurowestern supremacy, and thoughts on the conditions for repair

Authors: Neil Nunn*, University of Toronto
Topics: Environment, Cultural Ecology, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: settler colonialism, race, mining, mine-waste
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this paper, I take the complex relationality that exists through all life as a starting point to think about how modernist structures of domination have and continue to work to constrain, foreclose the possibility of, and fragment broad sets of relationships. Responding to the challenge of competing injustices and bridging the gulf between the racial, settler colonial, and the ecological, I build upon the idea of anti-relationality that is recurrent through work on racial capitalism. If relationality refers to a recognition that all existence “regardless of seeming contradictions” is “one and inseparable”, anti-relationality, in the tradition of racial capitalism, describes the ways by which normalized, or normally disavowed, processes of humanity are separated and configured in such ways that feed capital. Critical literatures on Indigenous injustice similarly focus on the fracturing of relational land-based kin networks, knowledges systems, and ecologies and limit the relational potential of racialized bodies. With the logics of racial capitalism and Indigenous justice literature as my foundation, I consider how Modernist structures of power routinely disrupt, constrain, and truncate relationships inherent to life and configure them in ways that interconnect with the norms and values of longstanding systems of Eurowestern supremacy. Further insight into geopolitical patterns of anti-relationality that exists across ostensibly distinct manifestations of injustice, offers valuable insight into how systems have constrained lives and aspects of existence work relationally across myriad forms of injustice.

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