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Fleeing with one’s back turned: toward feminist futures

Hélène Frichot
p. 57-68


Entwining the disciplines of philosophy and architecture, this essay proceeds from an account of the Anthropocene and its dark promise of a foreclosed human future toward the speculative gesture of feminist futures, with a focus on feminist architectural practices. To reflect on the ‘storms of progress’ that have issued in the Anthropocene Walter Benjamin’s famous angel of history is complemented with Bruno Latour’s more recent formulation of an angel of geohistory. Each angel posits the question of what is to be done in the aftermath of the destructions the Anthropos has wrought on a global scale, leaving behind the graffiti-like signature of human industrial toil in the very material geological constitution of the planet’s surface while altering its enclosing atmosphere. While each angel flees the material destructions of human progress they are at the same time confronted with what Isabelle Stengers calls the intrusion of Gaia, a mythical figure who cares little for human history. Drawing to a conclusion the essay ventures the speculative gesture of a feminist future and how this can be supported through feminist practices, specifically in architecture. Such a future does not seek to overcome, to escape or to flee, but as Donna Haraway would have it,1 to stay with the trouble, to work assiduously from the midst of the situations in which we find ourselves.

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  • 2 Malm 2016.

1I have recently found myself reciting a thought experiment that is to be found across the vast interdisciplinary terrain of intellectual labour dedicated to discussing the concept, event, material geological signature of the so-called Anthropocene. If a science of possible futures is to be ventured, one of the key concepts that will no doubt become indispensable, for better or worse, is that of the Anthropocene. A very long span of time, or else a newly emergent event, the Anthropocene designates humankind’s industrious material impact on a global scale. It has become the warning sign that we are plunging ever deeper into world-wide duress, yet we continue to exhaust our planet’s resources, digging, scraping, clearing, smoking, killing, clogging. The date when this vast material signature first came to impress itself into the lithosphere, the outer mantle of the planet, is still in dispute, but is generally given as concurrent with the industrial revolution, and even tied more specifically to the technological invention of the steam engine.2 The aim to decisively drive a golden spike into the correct geological strata to memorialise the commencement of the Anthropocene is a minor detail in what is a situation that threatens to exhaust all possibility of even imagining a human future.

  • 3 Crutzen, Schwagerl 2011, Yusoff 2016: 4.
  • 4 Yusoff 2016: 5.

2The thought experiment of which I speak speculates on a distant future when the descendants of humankind, the species-being that is the Anthropos, or else some unimaginable alien other presumed in some way to be sentient, bears witness to this signature, reads the mark that has been left behind by humankind, and casts judgement. Remember, the climate scientist who has popularized the Anthropocene Paul Crutzen says, in the future we (humans) will have become indistinguishable from what we habitually call nature. This is how Crutzen frames the thought experiment: «Imagine our descendants in the year 2200 or 2500. They might liken us to aliens who have treated the Earth as if it were a mere stopover for refueling, or even worse, characterize us as barbarians who would ransack their own home […] Remember, in this new era, nature is us».3 As Kathryn Yusoff remarks in response to this thought experiment: «The Anthropocene both names the spectre of a fossil-fuelled geologic life that haunts the present (while leaving it unexamined in geopolitical terms) and opens up an epochal rift for speculative contemplation that extends well beyond industrialization and capitalism into evolutionary futures».4 What is thus posited is a speculative gesture toward what Yusoff calls becoming-geologic, which is a reengagement with the inhuman, or more than human, a reengagement with the earth, with material relations. A provocation to think a new earth.

3This is a dizzying thought experiment, especially given that ‘our’ (and there are problems with speaking of a species-being en masse in that is assumes a common project and a lack of differentiation) concerted attempts to purify the categories of nature and culture would appear to have landed us in the erstwhile denigrated class, nature. This is the side of the binary couplet habitually shared with other equally denigrated classifications, such as the irrational, the feminine, fiction. A modern purification project that was dangerous to start with, and which has failed us miserably, in that our attempts to situate ourselves as exceptional (civilised, rational purveyors of fact) has only thrown us at ever greater, exponential speeds toward a projected future wherein we too have become merely a geological trace. A residue, after all, of nature. Though here, as Yusoff points out, we are again at risk of reinserting the nature/culture schema, where the point is rather to take up the promise to the future of an Anthropocene thought experiment in terms of the socio-geological, or geosocial, and very material power relations it reveals.

4What have we accumulated in the process of unfurling such geosocial power relations?

  • 5 Benjamin 1973: 247.
  • 6 Stengers 2015.
  • 7 Benjamin 1973: 248.

5In his famous Theses on the Philosophy of History Walter Benjamin argues that to articulate the past historically «means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at the moment of danger»,5 as though to say that this flash of something half remembered might issue a warning for what is yet to come to pass, the future. This is where he wryly adds that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy, who, one presumes, hold the power to rewrite the story in times to come. Benjamin goes on to warn us that the future reshapes the past, but too often after the shape and legacy of the victors. Who, after all, will persist long enough to remark on the geosocial fossil record of the human, the Anthropos? As though in anticipation of Isabelle Stengers’s In Catastrophic Times: The Coming Barbarism,6 Benjamin writes: «There is no document of civilization that is not also a document of barbarism»,7 for the victors, those guardians of the documents in which what counts as knowledge is kept safe, had to step over the bodies of the prostrate, now, of course these bodies can be recognized as collectively forming a geological, mineral layer in the lithosphere. Benjamin’s 18 theses are composed as an essay in fragments, fiery glimpses of which, as Susan Buck-Morss explains, take thoughtful aim at historical materialism and its assumptions about progress.

  • 8 Benjamin 1973: 249.

6In the ninth thesis, the one of specific interest to me here, Benjamin cites his friend Gerhard Scholem and then goes on to describe Paul Klee’s painting Angelus Novus, creating a montage, through proximity and shared motif, of poem and canvas, in order to depict a singular figure. An angel, we are told, is moving away from something he has been fixedly contemplating: «His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread». This, Benjamin elucidates, is how the angel of history might be imagined, and the angel’s point of view differs from our own: «Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress».8

7But the angel, who is he?

8In Benjamin’s parable the angel could represent the critical historian and/or the historical materialist, observing an accumulating pile of human destruction that has been mis-categorised as progress. The alternative is that Benjamin intends to incant a supernatural being, neither of earth, nor of the heavens, but occupying an indeterminate place in-between. Either way, the angel is caught up in a storm blowing from Paradise, his wings, like sails, have been requisitioned by the wind so that he is irresistibly propelled forwards toward a future. Yet his back is turned to the future, which means he does not have the gift of foresight. What he does see is the debris of the past, and based on the material evidence he can presumably imagine what is coming for one and all. In that he has also been caught up in historical events, he will not be able to escape the same fate as those he critically observes, nor will his critical warning be heard with sufficient time.

  • 9 Benjamin 1973: 255.

9Curiously, Benjamin cites a modern biologist who is said to have written: «In relation to the history of organic life on earth […] the paltry fifty millennia of homo sapiens constitute something like two seconds at the close of the twenty-four-hour day. On this scale, the history of civilized mankind would fill one-fifth of the last second of the last hour».9 This brevity is what proves so shocking with respect to the current thought experiment of the Anthropocene, which seems to suggest that the signature left behind will read rather like graffiti.

  • 10 Malm 2018: 298.
  • 11 Malm 2018: 20.
  • 12 Malm 2018: 8.
  • 13 Yusoff 2016: 21.
  • 14 Malm 2018: 298.
  • 15 Malm 2018: 25.
  • 16 Malm 2018; 2016.

10It is perhaps unsurprising that Andreas Malm incants «this storm»10 in his recent book The Progress of This Storm, where he too simultaneously casts his gaze backwards and speculatively, if blindly, projects forwards into the «unfathomable future».11 He writes: «The storm of climate change draws its force from countless acts of combustion over, to be exact, the past two centuries»12 and every impact of climate change places us in contact with the ghosts of a human past, the decisions we have made previously, for hundreds of years, and the mounting debris we have left littered behind us. As Yusoff puts it «the kinds of temporal constellations between the burning of intensified 345 million-year-old solar matter-energy in the present, for the future-to-come, comes to matter».13 The approaching storm, for Malm, pertains to the way in which capital, labour and the destruction of environments are forces that are bound together inextricably: «And onward the history of capital goes, from one combination to the next»14, or we might add, from one combustion to the next, as the pile mounts ever higher. Malm cites E. Ann Kaplan’s book Climate Trauma: Foreseeing the Future in Dystopian Film and Fiction, and cries out: «There’s a storm coming and not one of you is prepared for it».15 This dramatic warning, we should not be surprised to hear, is quoted from a dialogue in a climate disaster film. Malm’s argument is that the global and local transformations we witness today were already set off through myriad minor decisions made in the past, and according to such a logic, we are obliged to likewise project our even more fervent productions and consumptions into a future.16

11To complement these overseers of the storms of progress, there is another depiction of an angel I want to introduce, one that appears in the opening pages of Bruno Latour’s Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime. It all began, Latour explains, with a dance movement he happened to witness.

  • 17 Latour 2017: 4.

«A dancer is rushing backwards to get away from something she must have found frightening; as she runs, she keeps glancing back more and more anxiously, as if her flight is accumulating obstacles behind her that increasingly impede her movements, until she is forced to turn around. And there she stands, suspended, frozen, her arms hanging loosely, looking at something coming towards her, something even more terrifying than what she was first seeking to escape».17

  • 18 Latour 2017: 630.
  • 19 Latour 2017: 631.
  • 20 Latour 2017: 638.

12While fleeing from one horror, says Latour, she encounters another, one that has been partly created by the progress of her own flight. Her bid for escape paradoxically means her safety is even less likely to be secured, instead she has only made things worse for herself by undertaking her harried departure for the future in the first place. Latour names her the angel of geohistory,18 and he admits that his angel bears a passing resemblance to Benjamin’s. The Moderns he explains, do not look forwards, they look backwards at the dark times they are eager to escape, and they look upwards, but not forwards.19 Their future is constituted based on a rejection of the past, and yet with their eagerness to act in the present they forget to plan for the future. The angel of geohistory appears to be the guardian of two temporalities, the remote past and the near future. What Latour means by facing Gaia is that in the face of what is to come «we cannot continue to believe in the old future if we want to have a future at all. This is what I mean by facing Gaia».20 The future must be reinvented, reimagined.

  • 21 Latour 2017: 17.
  • 22 Latour 2017: 17.

13And so the «pervasive shadow of Gaia»21 enters the scene. Could this appearance of Gaia looming up, intruding on our habitual practices be like Andreas Malm’s approaching storm? Is it Walter Benjamin’s storm from Paradise? Gaia is a figure Latour claims he became interested in on account of Isabelle Stengers’s work. He also draws at length from James Lovelock’s rendition of this mythical figure. Gaia is variously defined as the personification of the Earth, as one of the Greek primordial deities, an ancestral mother of all life, the one who begat the seas and the skies. Gaia renders the Nature/Culture schema defunct. She is a force even from before the time of the gods. A figure of violence, genesis and trickery, she knows what is going to happen, that is to say, she knows the future. Her powers of vision are thus more powerful than Benjamin’s angel, she is a seer, a visionary. In response Latour, and Donna Haraway too, demands we return to Earth, which is a demand to acknowledge what is rushing toward us.22

14How could we have remained so blind to a possible future we were heading toward at such great speed?

  • 23 Stengers 2015: 4.
  • 24 Stengers 2015: 9.
  • 25 Stengers, Davis, Turpin 2013: 176.

15What do we discover when we go to Stengers’s In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism where she relates her version of the story of Gaia? She dedicates her book to those struggling and experimenting today, those prepared to resist, reclaim and speculate, by continuing to imagine that another world is possible23. Today, Stengers tells us, ‘Man’ has become conscious of how he has transformed the earth at the global scale of geology, and that «he must therefore take responsibility for the future of the planet»24. And yet, what kind of dangerous hubris is this? We are the generation that knew, but did too little to change things. Gaia is a figure, Stengers suggests, who is rather hard to digest. Less than facing Gaia, which is the position Stengers argues Latour has set up – a dance of positioning that, at worst, maintains something like a confrontation between a modern consortium pitted against natural forces, or at best, a human assembly tackling a tricky entanglement – Stengers presents Gaia as the one who intrudes. Gaia intrudes and addresses herself to our deeply ingrained habits of thought,25 she is disagreeable, distasteful. If she is to be personified as a woman (a risky move Stengers appears willing to take) then she is a woman who makes a fuss.

  • 26 Italics in original. Stengers 2015: 45.
  • 27 Stengers 2015: 50.

16In response to the intrusion of Gaia, it is a matter of «paying attention»26 and not abusing her tolerance. Stengers acknowledges the maternal role of Gaia, but stresses that this role predates the cult of a doting, loving mother, and any distinction between being just and unjust. Stengers willfully situates Gaia as a being, but not in order to build some kind of familial relation, commenting instead that Gaia asks nothing of us. Even though Gaia poses a question, she does not ask for a response. «No future can be foreseen in which she will give back to us the liberty of ignoring her».27 We cannot ignore her, and yet she cares little for us. The future of Gaia can very well continue without us, this is why she is impervious to us, we humans may vanish from the face of earth, but that is not to say other forms of life won’t continue.

17Implacable Gaia intrudes as both a threat and a possibility, but to whom, and for whom?

  • 28 Schalk, Mazé, Kristiansson, Fanni 2017: 17.

18I want to take up these two images of angels, Benjamin’s Angel of History, and Latour’s Angel of Geohistory, each of whose flight might be situated in response to the intrusion of Gaia, and complicate them with the formulation of a feminist future. This will return us to the question of practices with a focus on feminist and intersectional concerns. It gives me the opportunity to briefly introduce a recently edited collection of essays dedicated to feminist practices in architecture, Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice, curated by Meike Schalk, Ramia Mazé, Thérèse Kristiansson and Maryam Fanni. When I say curated it is because I want to I stress that the collection is composed following a long-term investment in pedagogical and research milieux in the discipline of architecture that slowly evolved into the diverse suite of voices and positions represented in the book, which is organized around the themes of materialism, activisms, dialogues, pedagogies, projections. Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice originally emerged out of a pedagogical context in the School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology (Kth), Stockholm, where with growing concern students were asking why women are so infrequently made reference to in architectural history and theory seminars and in design studios? A group of teachers responded to this important question, which soon enough became a demand, by organizing courses that foregrounded the contributions that women and minorities have made, and continue to make, to architecture, as well as, importantly, exploring feminist methodologies.28 Once you go looking, once you open your eyes, it is not so very difficult to make visible formerly obscured trail blazers and their legacies and to reclaim the stories of women and others.

  • 29 Schalk, Mazé, Kristiansson, Fanni 2017: 13.
  • 30 Schalk, Mazé, Kristiansson, Fanni 2017: 14.

19I know from conversations behind the scenes, while the collection was being compiled, that it was a coincidence that the working title, Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice, happened to use a formulation that had been introduced earlier by the Australian philosopher Elizabeth Grosz, at the turn of the millennium. Grosz’s argument for feminist futures subsequently becomes useful to the editors who cite her in their introduction: «The future is that openness of becoming that enables divergences from what exists»29. The editors ask how we (practitioners and critical thinkers of architecture, art, design, and spatial practices) can act from the midst of our everyday practices in order to affect the future, to create such divergences, in order to collectively and collaboratively construct a future that holds firm to a feminist ethos. Specifically, their aim is to present responses to such questions as: «What knowledges and imaginaries are necessary for engendering social change?» and «How can we direct our future spatial practices to meet challenges posed by climate change, economic crises and uneven global development?»30 Such questions become possible in architecture, which is no small challenge in a discipline generally fixated on its icons and idols, because of the feminist standpoint secured by voices collected in this volume.

20When the formulation of a feminist future is introduced by Grosz in two essays, both of which were published in 2000, this was at a historical juncture when the world was about to radically transform with the events of September 11 2001. This is a moment after which the questions asked by the editors of Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice become even more urgent as the violence of permanent exception becomes the global rule of the day, casting suspicion on all minorities, including women. Reading Gilles Deleuze and reading Henri Bergson, and reading Deleuze reading Bergson, Grosz catches the wave of élan vital, the novel upsurge of life as it unfurls, the open-ended promise of what a future could present us with. There is the feeling of being radically unconstrained, capable of leaping wildly, joyfully, in any direction. There is, in Grosz’s argument, an attempt to unbind the past from the present and the present from the future. In the meantime, now eighteen years into that future, one can’t help but suspect that something has come undone in the flux of temporality since Grosz wrote her essays dedicated to a feminist future. When we look back retrospectively at the growing destructions subsequently witnessed, to say nothing of experienced, when we pause to consider what Stengers calls the intrusions of Gaia, there is a sinking suspicion that the future was not so open after all.

  • 31 Grosz 2000a, Grosz 2000b. See Frichot 2016 for a further discussion of these essays.
  • 32 Grosz 2000b: 1018.
  • 33 Grosz 2000b: 1017.

21One of Grosz’s essays is orientated toward an audience engaged in Deleuze scholarship, the other toward an audience of feminist scholars.31 In the feminist journal Signs, the title of Grosz’s essay, Histories of a Feminist Future, plays on the future anterior, whereby, as she explains, a history of the past is written from the point of view of the future. This creates a temporal conundrum from the get go. Grosz challenges a model that presumes the past is the «preeminant source for the solution of contemporary problems»,32 that the past offers a blueprint for the present and the future, a future in which the past can still recognize itself. Instead, she posits a new program for feminist time and futurity to dispel those revolutionary pretentions that turn out to be based on models of the past from which a present, and a projected future, only minimally distinguish themselves. The challenge for Grosz is how to conceptually get ourselves out of the rut of an over-determined future. Instead, she asks, how can we hold open an atemporal gap of potentiality between perception and memory, between action and recollection, a caesura that might unhinge the future from the past, and from our tendency to project by way of prediction and probability? Grosz speaks of the importance of clearing a conceptual space for an indeterminable future, one that does not divulge itself to futurology. She claims this «future yet to be made, is the very lifeblood of political struggle, the goal of a feminist struggle»,33 and yet, according to Grosz’s formulation of temporality this goal cannot be set up as some predetermined telos. It cannot, by definition, be specified in advance. This creates great challenges in terms of how we hope to get there.

  • 34 Grosz 2000a 224-225.
  • 35 Deleuze 1990: 149.

22In the second essay in question, in her contribution to Deleuze and Feminist Theory edited by Claire Colebrook, Grosz turns to Deleuze’s reading of Bergson to introduce an atemporal «zone of indetermination»34 a juncture between memory and perception, sensation and action, where the future is allowed to unfurl unconstrained by a past. The zone of indetermination is a conceptual formulation she borrows from Deleuze and Guattari, one that demands a radical openness to a future into which no goal can be securely projected. Somehow, in the lag between sensation and action, action conceived as a form of political praxis, theory might just lead us into more liberatory political and spatial relations, if we are so lucky. Within this atemporal interstice Grosz urges an «openness to what befalls us», which is an ethical attitude. Yet as Deleuze expressly argues, we have to make ourselves worthy of what happens to us.35 That is to say, following a Spinozist approach, what happens takes place in the difficult dance between determination and freedom. Here a tension can be located in Grosz’s work, where the future appears to be not so unbounded after all. There are many kinds of event that may well befall us, that we can aspire to remain sufficiently open to, and to not judge too quickly, but it is not that anything at all can happen. Instead, I would argue, there is a debt that has accumulated in the past that cannot be simply reneged. The debt, furthermore, is a very material and environmental one.

  • 36 In her book The Coming Barbarism, Stengers makes reference to Stengers 2015: 50.

23It’s worth reflecting again on the pile that has accumulated, the pile of debris that famously rises higher and higher before Benjamin’s iconic Angel of History. His wings flung wide, his trajectory out of control, he does not know with what he will collide and when, here it seems the future is yet to be determined. More needs to be said about this pile of debris that mounts in the wake of the angel’s progress. Having walked south across the Pyrenees, having taken his life in a moment of desperation on the other side of the border between France and Spain, what Benjamin would not have yet born witness to are the piles of debris that would soon be littering Europe following the Second World War, to say nothing of the nuclear destructions eventually visited upon Japan. Piles of debris, such huge mountains that novel topographies altered many post war German cities, such as Teufelsberg in Berlin, and in Munich, the Olympic Stadium designed by Frei Otto stands amidst a landscape shaped from heaps of post-war waste. Reflecting on such mounds as these and similar remainders, which can be situated as not just material but immaterial too, if we are prepared to go gleaning through the mounting piles of debris, the rubbish tips of the Anthropos, what might we find? Surely it is possible to rescue materials, our fossil remains, as well as reclaim the concepts that are still usable? Is it wise to unhinge ourselves from a revolutionary past as Grosz recommends, if there are still tactics, strategies and powerful concept-tools yet to be reclaimed and put to new uses in grappling with contemporary problems? This is where I locate my hesitation with Grosz’s feminist future, at the same time as wanting urgently to argue alongside her, and the editors of Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice, that another future is possible, even a new earth born of radically realigned human and non-human relations. We could return, as Stengers recommends, to the revolutionary cry that «“another world is possible!”».36

  • 37 Stengers 2015: 50.
  • 38 Stengers 2015: 98.

24Here, finally, is where another set of tools might come in handy, ones that can be associated with the actions of resisting, reclaiming and speculating. Stengers remarks that there is no simple answer to how we might recompose our earthly relations, nonetheless, new kinds of composition are what is desperately needed. Specifically, «the voices of many peoples, knowledges, and earthly practices»37 can be drawn upon, rather than leaving the solutions to the experts, or what Stengers calls the guardians of knowledge. Knowledge practices, ecologies of practice, can mobilise in diverse locations gathering together unexpected confederacies. Seeking to reclaim what capitalism has destroyed (the pile of rubble I have raised as a thought figure), speculating on how a future can be made otherwise. Paying attention, slowing down, reclaiming capacities to «think and act together»38 as well as to acknowledge good debts that should not be overlooked. For instance, to acknowledge that intrepid, slightly frustrated, querulous group of young architecture students in Stockholm who began asking about the missing voices, the missing stories in the education they were receiving at their school of architecture. They extended an act of resistance, demanding that obscured architectural actors and their methods be reclaimed, and in this they passed on something to the future we now inhabit, and continue to struggle with, to hold open, as far as we can, a feminist future as an affirmative and speculative gesture. To share in such possibilities.

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Benjamin, W., 1973, Theses on the Philosophy of History, in Id., Illuminations, New York, Schocken Books.

Buck-Morss, S., 1989, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge (MA), MIT Press.

Colebrook, C., 2008, Introduction I, in Deleuze and Gender, Deleuze Studies, vol. 2: 1-19.

Crutzen, P., Schwagerl, C., 2011, Living in the Anthropocene: Toward a new global ethos, “Yale Environment”, 360. Accessed at:

Deleuze, G., 1990, The Logic of Sense, New York, Columbia University Press.

Frichot, H., 2016, Affective Encounters Amidst Feminist Futures in Architecture, in T. Stoppani, G. Ponzo, G. Themistokleous (eds), That Things Called Theory, London, Routledge: 79-88.

Grosz, E., 1994, A Thousand Tiny Sexes: Feminisms and Rhizomatics in C. Boundas, D. Olkowski (eds), Gilles Deleuze and the Theatre of Philosophy, London, Routledge: 187-210.

Grosz, E., 2000a, Deleuze’s Bergson: Duration, the Virtual and a Politics of the Future, in C. Colebrook (ed.), Deleuze and Feminist Theory, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press: 214-234.

Grosz, E., 2000b, Histories of a Feminist Future, “Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society”, 25, 4: 1017-1021.

Grosz, E., 2001, Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space, Cambridge (MA), MIT Press.

Haraway, D., 2016, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham, Duke University Press.

Latour, B., 2017, Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Malm, A., 2016, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, London, Verso.

Malm, A., 2018, The Progress of this Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World, London, Verso

Schalk, M., Mazé, R., Kristiansson, T. (eds), 2017, Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice: Materialisms, Activisms, Dialogues, Pedagogies, Projections, Baunach, Art Architecture Design Research

Stengers, I., 2015, In Catastrophic Times: The Coming Barbarism, Ann Arbor (MI), Open Humanities Press and Meson Press

Stengers, I. (with Davis, H., Turpin, E.), 2013, Matters of Cosmopolitics: On the Provocations of Gaïa, in E. Turpin (ed.), Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, and Philosophy, Ann Arbor (MI), Open Humanities Press and Michigan Publishing: 171-182.

Yusoff, K., 2016, Anthropogenesis: Origins and Endings in the Anthropocene, “Theory, Culture and Society”, 33, 2: 3-28.

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1 Haraway 2016.

2 Malm 2016.

3 Crutzen, Schwagerl 2011, Yusoff 2016: 4.

4 Yusoff 2016: 5.

5 Benjamin 1973: 247.

6 Stengers 2015.

7 Benjamin 1973: 248.

8 Benjamin 1973: 249.

9 Benjamin 1973: 255.

10 Malm 2018: 298.

11 Malm 2018: 20.

12 Malm 2018: 8.

13 Yusoff 2016: 21.

14 Malm 2018: 298.

15 Malm 2018: 25.

16 Malm 2018; 2016.

17 Latour 2017: 4.

18 Latour 2017: 630.

19 Latour 2017: 631.

20 Latour 2017: 638.

21 Latour 2017: 17.

22 Latour 2017: 17.

23 Stengers 2015: 4.

24 Stengers 2015: 9.

25 Stengers, Davis, Turpin 2013: 176.

26 Italics in original. Stengers 2015: 45.

27 Stengers 2015: 50.

28 Schalk, Mazé, Kristiansson, Fanni 2017: 17.

29 Schalk, Mazé, Kristiansson, Fanni 2017: 13.

30 Schalk, Mazé, Kristiansson, Fanni 2017: 14.

31 Grosz 2000a, Grosz 2000b. See Frichot 2016 for a further discussion of these essays.

32 Grosz 2000b: 1018.

33 Grosz 2000b: 1017.

34 Grosz 2000a 224-225.

35 Deleuze 1990: 149.

36 In her book The Coming Barbarism, Stengers makes reference to Stengers 2015: 50.

37 Stengers 2015: 50.

38 Stengers 2015: 98.

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Hélène Frichot, « Fleeing with one’s back turned: toward feminist futures », Rivista di estetica, 71 | 2019, 57-68.

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Hélène Frichot, « Fleeing with one’s back turned: toward feminist futures », Rivista di estetica [Online], 71 | 2019, online dal 01 mars 2020, consultato il 09 avril 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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