On the Importance of a Date, or, Decolonizing the Anthropocene

Heather Davis, Zoe Todd

Abstract


This article argues for the importance of including Indigenous knowledges into contemporary discussions of the Anthropocene. We argue that a start date coincident with colonization of the Americas would more adequately open up these conversations. In this, we draw upon multiple Indigenous scholars who argue that the Anthropocene is not a new event, but is rather the continuation of practices of dispossession and genocide, coupled with a literal transformation of the environment, that have been at work for the last five hundred years. Further, the Anthropocene continues a logic of the universal which is structured to sever the relations between mind, body, and land. In dating the Anthropocene from the time of colonialization, the historical and ideological links between the events would become obvious, providing a basis for the possibility of decolonization within this framework.

Keywords


Anthropocene; decolonization; Indigenous philosophy; colonialism

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ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies - ISSN: 1492-9732