To Risk the Earth: the Nonhuman and Nonhistory

2018-02-13T15:11:03Z (GMT) by Angela Last
There is a moment that keeps returning to me. At a conference on the Anthropocene a few years ago, a fellow white artist described her affective interactions with a volcano in the Caribbean. I was familiar with this site. Not by visiting it in person, but by visiting it through the many accounts in French Caribbean literature. The site was Mount Pelée on the island of Martinique. Mount Pelée, as some readers may know, is mainly known for one event: an eruption on 8 May 1902, an eruption that killed 30,000 people and completely destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre—to many abroad also known as le Petit Paris des Antilles. Among the many tragedies of displacement and mass deaths through volcanoes in the Caribbean, this event is so infamous not because of the number of lives lost, but because of the political circumstances behind it.

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