Open Call: The Promise of Multispecies Justice

Deadline:
Sep. 1, 2022
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No
Overview
Global markets are expanding, undermining the conditions of life on earth. As the privileged few create cosmopolitan refuges in growing deserts, other peoples and creatures are living with slow violence and ongoing war. Industrial processes are uncoupling life from death, diminishing death’s capacity to channel vitality back to the living. Life is becoming non-life on a planetary scale. An unruly multitude is starting to destabilize anthropos – the figure of the unified human that has been imagined as the driving force of the Anthropocene. While some hold on to hopes for a post-human future – a world without us – we aim to expose and derail necropolitical assemblages with new bio-cultural articulations. We seek artworks, objects, images, and artifacts to illustrate how new energies of social justice are coursing through human networks, contesting hegemonic forces, and intersecting with other forces in multispecies worlds. The future is an open field of possibility structured by oblique powers and intergenerational processes. People are gardening in the ruins of colonial and carceral geographies—working within and against logics that isolate people from each other and other species. Generative forms of justice are emerging with composted soil, as fungi, microbes, and people become involved in local cycles of matter and meaning. Plants are helping people achieve intergenerational justice, as they extend relations into the future with their slow growth and fruit. Some endangered animals are finding recognition justice as they are elevated within cultural, legal, and institutional regimes. Other disregarded critters are finding justice—as fugitives—within fragmented patches that allow for feral proliferations and counter-hegemonic hopes. Multispecies justice demands political and aesthetic innovations. Somehow it is easier to notice injustice (the lack of something), than recognize justice. Building on the archive of writing about ugly injustices and the supposed perfection of justice, Naisargi Dave asks: “Why is the ugly more palpable than the beautiful?” In exploring the aesthetic possibilities of multispecies justice we intend to exhibit the ugly alongside the beautiful, the grotesque alongside the surreal. Our exhibit will build on the long legacy of the environmental justice movement—we seek new proposals for distributive justice that are concerned with the equitable sharing of resources as well as renderings of new infrastructures that might protect vulnerable communities from toxic exposures. At the same time, we seek to open up the idea of “the environment” with artworks oriented to other creatures who are recognized as dignity-bearing subjects and world-makers with their own relational aesthetic sensibilities. Words often fail when justice enters multispecies realms. This is why we seek artists and scientists, teachers and children, makers and doers of all kinds to collaborate with us in the work of sympathetic imagining across gulfs of species difference. Initial submissions, including a 500 word project description, or images, and 1 page CV should be made to multispecies.salon@gmail.com by September 1st, 2022. Initial proposals will be vetted by the multispecies justice curatorial committee—namely Sophie Chao, Eben Kirksey, Liliana Riva Palacio, and Francisco Vergara-Silva. During the exhibit the curatorial committee will select one artwork for a cash prize of $1,500 USD. Five additional cash prizes of $250 each will be awarded by the committee to other artworks in the exhibit. The curators will notify participants if their work has been selected for display in the Promise of Multispecies Justice exhibit in Cholula, Mexico, from 7-10 December alongside the joint meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ESOCITE). The Indigenous community of Miguel Hidalgo, in Chiapas, would also like to display artworks from The Promise of Multispecies Justice show in their open-air assembly hall in mid-December. Please indicate in your initial submission if you would like to be considered for the exhibit in this unconventional venue in Chiapas. This exhibit accompanies the publication of a new book, The Promise of Multispecies Justice, which will be published in September 2022 by Duke University Press.
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Open Call: The Promise of Multispecies Justice

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