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Parallel Futures: One or Many Dystopias?

​Editors’ Note:

Living today can feel like constantly experiencing rounds and rounds of iterations of apocalypses, saturating everything from our recent history (felt especially keenly today, the anniversary of the 911 attack), to our popular fiction to, of course, our current daily life in an ongoing pandemic.

“The sad irony here,” as pointed out by Pedro Neves Marques,​ author of “Parallel Futures: One or Many Dystopias?” in this month’s e-flux in Chinese column, is that “while indigenous peoples have actually lived this image of ‘wasteland apocalypse’ for centuries, white people, when faced with their own self-induced meltdown, turn this imaginary into their own image of decay [...] ​In other words, white people have appropriated the ruins of others, as if through this ‘assimilation’ they might erase colonial differences between themselves and all those they have oppressed.”

A filmmaker, writer, and artist on their own, Neves Marques introduced two feature films Inaate/se and Empty Metal, directed fully or partially, by the indigenous filmmakers Adam and Zack Khalil.​ Intertwining with their critical self-reflection (as a white people), the films serve as “a reflection on two strands of anarchist thought that anchor [a] post-futuristic dystopia,” and Neves Marques further suggests what can be termed “parallel futures”: “an other politics capable of inhabiting trauma and erasure so as to claim better futures from within it.” Perhaps, from today, we shall all attempt to reimagine a possible future in plural form.

This is part of e-flux in Chinese Column, a collaboration between Heichi Magazine and e-flux journal, with curator and writer Xiaoyu Weng as the column’s guest-editor.

Parallel Futures: One or Many Dystopias? from e-flux journal #99—April 2019, read the original article here. Click here to read the essay in Chinese. ​Translated by Kevin Wu, co-edited by Xiaoyu Weng and Qianfan Gu.

Kevin Wu is a freelance writer, translator, curator, and artist. He lives and works in New York. In 2018, Kevin graduated from Columbia College with a degree in art history and visual art. He is currently pursuing an MA degree in curatorial studies at the School of Visual Arts. In 2019, he acted as the curator’s assistant at the 5th Ural Biennial. He is currently invested in topics such as hauntology, post-humanism, and sci-fi.

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Empty Metal, 2018.

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Empty Metal, 2018.

Adam and Zack Khalil, Inaate/se (It shines a certain way to. To a certain place. It flies. Falls), 2016.

Adam and Zack Khalil, Inaate/se (It shines a certain way to. To a certain place. It flies. Falls), 2016.

Adam and Zack Khalil, Inaate/se (It shines a certain way to. To a certain place. It flies. Falls), 2016.

Adam and Zack Khalil, Inaate/se (It shines a certain way to. To a certain place. It flies. Falls), 2016.

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Empty Metal, 2018.

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Empty Metal, 2018.

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Empty Metal, 2018.

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Empty Metal, 2018.

Published: 2020.09.11