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Environmental Justice through a Decolonial Lens
Environmental Justice through a Decolonial Lens

Wed, 14 Jun



Environmental Justice through a Decolonial Lens

SPRING ULMER — Session moderated by Beate Pittnauer

Time and Place

14 Jun 2023, 18:30 – 20:00 WEST


About this session

WEBINAR SERIES 2023 | The Indigenous Gaze: decolonising visual cultures

See full programme


Spring Ulmer

Dina Gilio-Whitaker argues that environmental justice must be indigenized, “capable of a political scale beyond the homogenizing, assimilationist, capitalist State,” and, therefore, “requires the use of a different lens, one with a scope that can accommodate the full weight of the history of settler colonialism, on one hand, and embrace differences in the ways Indigenous peoples view land and nature, on the other” (As Long as Grass Grows, 2019). With a nod to Secwepemc grand chief George Manuel’s 1974 coining of the term “Fourth World,” Gilio-Whitaker favors the term “fourth world nations” over “Indigenous nations” as it de-emphasizes the state and repositions Indigenous peoples into self-determining peoples (“Idle No More and Fourth World,” 2015). Māori filmmaker Barry Barclay similarly theorizes “Fourth Cinema” as a flexible space in which Indigenous filmmakers “may seek to rework the ancient core values to shape a growing Indigenous cinema outside the national orthodoxy” (“Celebrating Fourth Cinema,” 2003). This webinar endeavors to comment upon how certain Fourth World peoples’ contemporary creative works, like Camille Seaman’s photo series The Last Iceberg (2008), Melting Away (2014), and The Big Cloud (2018); Natalie Diaz’s poems “From the First Water Is the Body” and “exhibits from The American Water Museum” (2020); Heather Hatch’s documentary Wochiigii Lo: End of the Peace (2021); Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s poetry collection Iep Jaltok: Poems from a Marshelle Daughter (2017); Yhonnie Scarce’s glass art installations Thunder Raining Poison (2015), Only a Mother Could Love Them (2016), Death Zephyr (2017), Cloud Chamber (2020), and The Near Breeder (2022), and Alexis Wright’s novel The Swan Book (2013), indigenize environmental justice.

Webinar Session and Q&A moderated by Beate Pittnauer.

About the Speaker

Spring Ulmer is the author of Benjamin’s Spectacles, The Age of Virtual Reproduction, and Bestiality of the Involved. She is a recent recipient of a NEA in Translation and the winner of the 2016 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. Her scholarship has appeared in the following anthologies: Post-racial America?: An Interdisciplinary Study; Comparative Feminism, Postmodernism, Postcolonialism: Gender and Sexual Identity in Contemporary Turkish Literature and Culture, and Photography and Cinema, 50 Years of La Jetée. She teaches in the English Department at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, USA. She has also worked as a journalist and photojournalist, taught writing and photography workshops at the University of Technology and Management in Lahore, Pakistan, and with migrant children, juvenile detainees, homeless youth, and refugees.


Beate Pittnauer is an art and photo historian based in Germany. She specialises in 20th-century European photography with a focus on art photography in its multiple media relations of the interwar and postwar periods.Her Ph.D project on the topic of the humanist photography was funded by research stays in Lausanne, Lyon and Paris by the German Research Foundation. Besides her investigation in historical photography, she worked for funding programmes on contemporary photography (Zeitgenössische deutsche Fotografie; Dokumentarfotografie Förderpreise) and gained curatorial experience at art and cultural history museums. She was a fellow of the research training group The Photographic Dispositif (DFG) at Braunschweig University of Fine Arts and holds an MA in Art History.

Image © Caroline Monnet, History Shall Speak for Itself II, 2018


  • Webinar #4

    This event is free for Archivo members with active membership plans.

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