Success—Collapse—Resilience

The Story of Homo Resiliens in Film Documentaries on the Anthropocene

in Nature and Culture
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Abstract

This article examines a selection of documentary films on the “Anthropocene” to carve out their common plot structure against the backdrop of prominent Anthropocene narratives. I subsequently trace Anthropos—the typification of a collective subject of humankind—and its story: the principal success story of the past that views humankind's glory in gaining dominance over nature is followed by a moment of shock revealing a potential collapse of the world as we know it. The story comes nevertheless to a happy ending by emphasizing the ingenuity of humans in a paradigmatic logic of resilience. I propose to call this figure Homo resiliens as it represents the anthropologized human capability of surviving. I argue that this figure conceals global inequality and social hegemonies in totalizing humankind as one collective resilient subject.

Contributor Notes

Florentine Schoog is a Ph.D. Researcher in Sociology and scholarship holder of the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC). Following a position as coordinating editor of Freiburger Zeitschrift für GeschlecherStudien (fzg), a peer-reviewed journal on interdisciplinary gender studies, Florentine approaches her dissertation project investigating narratives and discourses around climate crises and the Anthropocene, mediated and (re)produced in film documentaries. Further focuses and topics are governmentality, social inequality, feminist thought, and social theory. Email: florentine.schoog@gcsc.uni-giessen.de

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