The Cosmopolitics of Food Futures: Imagining Nature, Law, and Apocalypse

Jocelyn Bosse, Xan Chacko and Susannah Chapman (2020) ‘The cosmopolitics of food futures: imagining nature, law, and apocalypse’ Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 34:6, 840-857 https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2020.1842124

22 Pages Posted: 5 May 2023

See all articles by Jocelyn Bosse

Jocelyn Bosse

King's College London

Xan Chacko

University of Queensland

Susannah Chapman

University of Queensland

Date Written: November 22, 2020

Abstract

The stories we tell about the world, through worlding practices such as films, open the possibilities of certain futures, while foreclosing other imaginable ones. Attuned to recent work on political ontology that takes contests over ‘how the world is’ as a starting point for navigating the degradation and uncertainty of life in the Anthropocene, we trace how two films released in 2016, Seed: The Untold Story and Food Evolution, weave different—though sometimes similar—accounts of the past in order to present precarious futures that are best served through particular interventions. To the extent that both films render accounts of precarious futures saved by science or conservation, we argue that they provide compelling spaces to, following Isabelle Stengers’s ‘Cosmopolitical Proposal’, to slow down: to pause and consider the types of worlds that are brought into being—and those that are foreclosed—in their portrayal of amid the crises of climate and food. We follow this worlding practice through four threads developed in each film: the momentum of apocalypse, the boundaries of the natural, the politics of law, and the cures for precarity. Focusing on the politics of representation mobilized in each film, we enact a feminist praxis of slowing down.

Keywords: documentary film, genetically-modified organisms, agriculture, seed saving, science and technology studies, controversial issues, worlding

Suggested Citation

Bosse, Jocelyn and Chacko, Xan and Chapman, Susannah, The Cosmopolitics of Food Futures: Imagining Nature, Law, and Apocalypse (November 22, 2020). Jocelyn Bosse, Xan Chacko and Susannah Chapman (2020) ‘The cosmopolitics of food futures: imagining nature, law, and apocalypse’ Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 34:6, 840-857 https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2020.1842124 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4428049 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4428049

Xan Chacko

University of Queensland

Susannah Chapman

University of Queensland ( email )

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