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  • Patchworks: The Ontology of the World

    Jonathan Pugh, David Chandler

    Chapter from the book: Pugh J. & Chandler D. 2021. Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds.


    Chapter 3 turns to ‘Patchwork ontologies’. Compared to Resilience, Patchwork ontologies shift debate towards affirmation and replace the modernist imaginary of islands with a more open ontology of spatial and temporal becoming. While this remains a relational understanding, Patchwork ontologies are more disruptive, destabilising the ‘solutionist’ or instrumentalising aspects of Resilience; making them more open, less governmentalising and human-centred. This is reflected in the work of the many ‘Patchwork ontologists’, critical thinkers, artists, designers, experimenters and poets who today frequently turn to islands and islander life to draw out how entanglements of relation are never fixed. Patchworks instead attend to disturbances and how islands are powerful ways of expressing processes of world-making. A key figure here is Glissant, and his focus upon ‘giving-on-and-with’ ‘Relation’, which pushes thinking with islands to the point that we can never stand outside and grasp (island) relations, only immerse ourselves in the texture and turbulence of the weave. For patchwork approaches, thinking with islands then becomes a ‘verb’ (Teaiwa) and practice of ‘staying with the trouble’, opening ourselves to relational affects – an immersive process of becoming which is today being developed by a wide engagement with islands and islander life.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Pugh J. & Chandler D. 2021. Patchworks: The Ontology of the World. In: Pugh J. & Chandler D, Anthropocene Islands. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book52.c

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    Published on June 9, 2021