KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Netherlands
The Plantationocene refers to a spatio-temporal epoch rooted in devastating transformations of diverse kinds of human-tended farms, pastures, and forests into extractive and enclosed plantations, relying on slave labor and other forms of exploited, alienated, and usually spatially transported labor (Haraway 2015, footnote 5: 162). Plantation lifeworlds, both past and present, are critical for understanding the social, political, economic, and multispecies dynamics of the Southeast Asia.In this region, colonial plantations introduced, and solidified, capitalist economies, while their reliance on labour migration irreversibly weaving Eurocentric social and racial hierarchies within the local social fabrics. Importantly, plantationscapes reworked the very materiality of the region, as the introduction of new species, rampant extraction and infrastructural development fundamentally altered geographies and ecosystems, at once severely disrupting more-than-human kinship networks, while allowing the emergence of renewed entanglements and relations of belonging. As such, this panel adopts the Plantationocene as an analytical lens, aiming to deliver a holistic analysis of long-standing patterns of dislocation, relocation and transplantation of human and non-human beings in the Southeast Asian region, as well as the related regimes of racialized violence and forced labour, and extractivist logics that decisively and irreversibly transformed biodiverse ecologies into monocrop formations. The panel explores how notions of temporality, historicity, kinship, justice, value and belonging constantly enable, rework and negotiate with contingent configurations between forms of governance and the extractive grammars of monocrop plantations, reproducing grammars of suffering (Wilderson 2010) as well as enabling sites of creativity, resistance, and subaltern activism.
Paper Presenter: Aida M. Arosoaie – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paper Presenter: Sophie Chao – University of Sydney
Paper Presenter: Aaron Hopes – Stanford University
Paper Presenter: Ahmad Dhiaulhaq – KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies
Co-author: Ward Berenschot – Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies