SABRINA ANA PERIĆ
STORIES OF EXTRACTION
Resource extraction and its industrialization have resurfaced our planet, reoriented landscapes and left gaping holes beneath our feet. Extraction has also transformed our social lives, our labour, and relationships with ourselves, and with our environment. The effects of extractive industries penetrate from the subterranean, through the surface of our bodies, through our planet, and into outer space.
In an era of climate change, we must learn from one another. While extraction occurs everywhere, extractive practices are neither homogeneous nor equally felt by all. Extraction lies at the heart of wars, nostalgia, and neoliberal economics. The stories of extraction I present here are meant to show the diversity of experience with these industries. We must understand our similarities and differences across place and time as a species dependent on extractive substances.
As we grapple with our response to massive environmental change, we have no choice but to think as a species. Perhaps counterintuitively, I propose that, in order to to think and act as a species, we have to focus on storytelling. Hannah Arendt wrote that "No philosophy can compare in intensity and richness of meaning with a properly narrated story… storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it… it brings about consent and reconciliation with things as they really are." In this excerpt, Arendt grapples with the inability of western intellectual traditions to truly comprehend the events and atrocities of her century. Similarly, we live in a moment where we also have difficulties comprehending the scale of industrial effects, extractive dreams and nightmares.
For me, photographing stories of extraction is a form of storytelling that can help us grapple with our current reality. Through this storytelling, I hope to actualize an Anthropocene ethics: I share stories about extraction that bring together the scale of our bodies and everyday life, with the scale of the planet, in order to create a new way of living and surviving in the Anthropocene. We must learn not only how to live with our transformation of the environment, but also this new moral landscape in which the human species finds itself after extraction.
HARD SHALE DAY
CROSS SECTION: geologist perspectives