A Future in Ruins: Ghosts, Repetition and the Presence of the Past in Anthropocene Futures

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    Abstract

    Around the world, the rise of temperatures due to global warming is revealing and exposing forgotten traces of the past that are still scored somewhere in the physical terrain. This paper suggests that the transformative landscapes of the Anthropocene not only confront our present world with a ruined and unprecedented future; they also draw our attention to suppressed and stowed-away memories and geographies from the past. By examining imaginaries of sustainable futures in Mexico City, New York and Amsterdam, it will be shown that site-specific ruins and traces of past realities have an evocative potential: they are used to imagine alternative historical trajectories and indicate possible alternative futures that challenge the absoluteness of our present world. The underlying temporality in these imaginaries is one in which the future is portended as a return of a past: there lies a future in these ruins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-211
    Number of pages22
    JournalKronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2020

    Keywords

    • Spectrality
    • Anthropocene temporality
    • Ruins
    • Climate adaptation
    • Historicity
    • Hauntology

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