Solarity Workshop Session 4

Feminist Solarities: Speculation, Interruption, Infrastructure, Solidarity

Led by Sheena Wilson and Jessie Beier

In this workshop, we will critically interrogate the role and import of feminist thought and practice as a necessary response to today’s energy impasse with specific focus on the question of ‘feminist solarity’. What exactly is feminist solarity? And, perhaps more importantly, how might feminist solarity offer the much-needed tools, both conceptual and material, to interrupt the given, re-engineer infrastructures, speculate on the possible, and ultimately, reimagine collectivities characterized by a “unified disunity, a pragmatic solidarity without solidity”1? This workshop aims to explore these complex questions by focusing on four main ‘threads’: speculation, interruption, infrastructure, and solidarity. Drawing from both historical feminist movements, as well as emerging theories and practices oriented towards questioning and re-directing feminist thought (including, but not limited to feminist new materialism; intersectional and decolonial approaches; feminist infrastructure studies; xenofeminism), this workshop will not only investigate the relations between feminism and energy transition, but will also endeavour towards thinking deeply about what kind of feminism is required given today’s ecological and social crises.

Potential Questions for Consideration

FEMINIST SPECULATION: How might we develop feminist solarities capable of providing the necessary platform to pose more adequate questions in relation to energy transition, while redirecting trajectories of speculation towards more livable futures for all?

FEMINIST INTERRUPTION: How might feminism, in its most diverse and critical formations (i.e. intersectional, new materialist, and decolonial), provide an interruption — or glitch— into those social conditions and affordances that have come to occupy the horizon of the thinkable, in turn creating our current ‘energy impasse’?

FEMINIST INFRASTRUCTURE: How might we re-imagine and re-engineer feminist infrastructure so as to develop social organizations capable of “generating a form within brokenness beyond the exigencies of the current crisis, and alternatively to it too”2? What infrastructures, social organizations, practices, and relations remain illegible, illegitimate, or even unfathomable, within current conversations and approaches to energy transition? How might feminist solarities shine new light on such formations so as to dilate a sense of the possible?

FEMINIST SOLIDARITY: How might both the rich history and contemporary developments in feminist thought provide possibilities for energy transition driven by yet unthought collective formations? And, specifically, what is the relationship between ‘feminist solarity’ and solidarity? What might ‘feminist solarities’ — whether speculative, interruptive, or infrastructural — look, feel, and sound like?

1 Pindar, Ian and Paul Sutton. “Translator’s Introduction to The Three Ecologies.”In The Three Ecologies. London: Athlone Press, 2000, p. 15.

2 Berlant, Lauren. “The commons: Infrastructures for troubling times.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2016, Vol. 34(3), p. 393.