22 September 2020

Thinking With | Macarena Gómez - Barris | The Extractive Zone

CONVERSATION | 22 Sept 2020 | 15:00 - 16:30 CET | Online

In this conversation, as part of the RCMC Thinking With series, Macarena Gómes-Barris will discuss her work notably in The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Duke UP, 2017) and Beyond the Pink Tide (UC Press, 2018). 

This conversation is part of the Caring Matters conference, which is part of the international collaborative research project Taking Care - Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care. 

We invite Gómez-Barris to think with us for she insists on theorizing the violence of extractive economies. In our ethnographic museums, we are interested in “mining the museum,” in connecting the objects within our collections to longer histories of resource extraction, of species extinction, of human and cultural degradation. At the same time, thinking the “extractive zone” takes these collections as possible sites for re-imagining other more caring relationships, more careful futures. 

Check in a couple of days prior to the event for instructions as to how to livestream the event.



Macarena Gómez-Barris is a writer and scholar of cultural memory. She is author of The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives which theorizes social life through five extractive scenes of ruinous capitalism upon Indigenous territories (Duke University Press, 2017). She is author of Beyond the Pink Tide: Art and Political Undercurrents in the Américas, published by University of California Press. She is also author of Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (2009). She is working on three book projects, Latchkey, a work of fiction, and At the Sea’s Edge, a scholarly book, and a book that rewrites environmental history from the perspective of decolonial movements. Macarena is Director of the Global South Centerand Chairperson of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute.

Excerpts of The Extractive Zone & Beyond the Pink Tide

**Check in a couple of days prior to the event for instructions as to how to livestream the event.


Thinking With series

RCMC’s Thinking With is a conversational series that makes a commitment to a certain kind of collaborative criticality. This project complements several of our existing initiatives, as well as our attentiveness to the notion of “togetherness.” Thinking With arises out of the NMVW’s mission to contribute to world citizenship. For us, this ambition involves reflecting on how we might live with and among others in the world in more just and equitable ways, but also in ways that acknowledge that we do so ‘from’ drastically different subjectivities and vantage points. Thinking With then offers a form of joined-up problem solving that imagines a future that we can only fashion together. As such, Thinking With is a series that includes book talks, conversations with authors and makers, and specialists in the many fields that inform museum practice.

We draw on Mireille Rosello’s notion that companionship between and among societal actors, especially those who have different positions within our society, can only but be disorienting. Yet this companionship may, as Ariella Aïsha Azoulay suggests, provide us with methodologies to “unlearn imperialism.” For this reason, we actively seek out companions who challenge us, as an attempt not to reproduce ourselves, but to push ourselves and each other to create more equitable and just futures. This involves practices of de-centring, of provincializing ourselves, as we practice forms of worlding that take each other seriously. Ultimately then, the Thinking With series takes companionship as an assemblage of people, objects, and texts, so that we courageously ask ourselves to think all of our social actors—animate and inanimate—as part of the entangled unequal  world we grapple with. In so doing, the project explores the notion of companionship and disorientation, not to deepen hierarchies, but rather as a way of fostering a more humane and unprejudiced world.