An IASH Work-in-Progress seminar, delivered by Dr Paul Merchant (Environmental Humanities Fellowship 2021; University of Bristol):
An Archipelagic Nation? Ecology and Identity on Chile’s Pacific Coast
Discussions of identity, coloniality and ecology in the Pacific world have rarely considered that ocean’s eastern edge. Yet Chile’s complex relations with the cultures of its southern archipelago and its remote island territory of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) make it unquestionably a Pacific nation. This paper argues that when considering the intersection of environmental and social challenges in contemporary Chile, there is much to be gained by adopting an approach grounded in ‘archipelagic thinking’ (Martínez-San Miguel and Stephens 2020), which has to date been more familiar in Caribbean and Oceanic contexts. Through an analysis of recent documentary and essay films, as well as sound and installation art, I suggest that the project of decolonising our approach to the environmental humanities is best served by an openness to multiple and incommensurable ‘ecological epistemes’ (Escobar 2020).
Please click the link below to join the webinar: