Tuesday 12th April 2016, 8:00pm
Session 160: “Reclaiming Animism” by Isabelle Stengers
During this Theory Tuesdays session, Melanie Matthieu presented the essay “Reclaiming Animism” by the Belgian philosopher Isabelle Stengers (e-flux, 2012).
In “Reclaiming Animism”, Isabelle Stengers provides an uncompromising pragmatic, adventurous approach to animism via a double refusal: to define animism (and thus refusing what would authorize her to define it) and to talk about it in terms of a belief system. She speaks from her side of the divide, however not as opposition, but rather as a ‘living contrast’; de-stabilizing modes of thinking connected to ‘hard truths in a mute world’. The text circumnavigates the localization of ‘the other’ via, among other things, proposing ‘a decolonization of thought’ (a term coined by the ethnologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro) and the Deleuzian idea ‘to think by the milieu’.