Solarity Workshop Session 3

Revolutionary Solarities

Led by Dominic Boyer and Jamie Cross

Will it take a revolution to end petroculture? If so, what kind of action and ideation will that revolution involve? Whose interests will be futured and whose foreclosed? And what role, if any, will solarity play within it? Roy Scranton argues that we will need to accept the death of fossil-fueled northern civilization before we can begin the hard process of coming to terms with the Anthropocene. Neshnabé philosopher Kyle Powys Whyte believes that this process cannot be focused on sustaining the deeply unjust and violent world created by settler colonialism but rather that it must oriented to an indigenous futurism that focuses on human-nonhuman relations and consent. Colebrook has written of the Anthropocene as marking the “return of difference,” difference vividly present in recent surges in afrofuturist, ecofeminist and solarpunk cultural and political imagination.

With such thoughts in mind, we would like to use this workshop to explore the possibilities and practices of revolutionary solarity that seek to unmake the Anthropocene trajectory and to establish new ones. Hermann Scheer, for example, saw radical democratic potential in the transition from inefficient, state-centered fossil fuel supply chains to a post-grid hyperlocal solar economy.

But beyond the material politics of energy itself, what might be the other critical infrastructures of solar democracy? As Ariella Azoulay has observed, the political concept of “revolution” means not only regime change, it also means “demarcating the sphere of sovereignty, declaring the end of revolution and establishing who is entitled to citizenship and who is not.” What kinds of sovereignty and citizenship might revolutionary solarity aspire to? How could it overcome the legacies of settler-indigenous and North-South extractive violence.

In sum, we are hoping for a workshop that both sounds the revolutionary potentials of our moment and recognizes the already existing practices of solarity that constitute, at the very least, a form of rebellion against petroculture.


Tomas Ariztia, Angela Carter, Amanda Boetzkes, Tommy Davis, Stacey Balkan, Claire Ravenscroft, Nandita Badami, Jenni Matchett, Matthew Hunter Joel Auerbach