Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World)
Editors: Anselm Franke, Elisa Giuliano, Denise Ryner, Claire Tancons, Zairong Xiang and Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Publisher: Spector Books
388 pages, including 215 colour illustrations
Graphic design: NODE Berlin Oslo
According to the writer and cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter, “we humans cannot pre-exist our origin myths any more than a bee can pre-exist its beehive.” Drawing inspiration from her seminal essays The Ceremony Must Be Found (1984) and The Ceremony Found (2015), Ceremony draws on Wynter’s thinking to suggest that “modernity,” contrary to its own self-image as rational and secular, is also determined by origin myths that emerged through the “mutations” of Christian cosmology after the dawn of capitalism in the Middle Ages. With over twenty-five unique contributions and commentaries on Wynter’s propositions from artists and writers, this publication will constitute a critical reference point for those seeking to construct and envisage a “counter-cosmogony” to the dispossession, slavery, and extractivism of modernity – which together endangers planetary life.
minor cosmopolitan: Thinking Art, Politics and the Universe Together Otherwise
In the wake of rapid globalization, many enthusiastically declared cosmopolitanism to be no longer just a philosophical ideal, but a real, existing fact. Across the world, they argued, people were increasingly considering themselves global citizens. Meanwhile, the global ecological crisis worsened, fascism returned, repression of disenfranchised groups on a global scale persisted, and the “refugee crisis” inundated the mediascape. What happened to the cosmopolitan promise, and who betrayed it? minor cosmopolitan challenges the underlying premises of major cosmopolitanism without letting go of the unfulfilled emancipatory potential of the concept at large. It rethinks cosmopolitanisms in the plural, and it traces multiple origins and trajectories of cosmopolitan thought across the globe. Assembling theoretical, artistic, and essayistic contributions in textual or visual formats, minor cosmopolitan seeks to discuss how to live at once with our difference and shared struggle and asks who sustains the world’s flourishing.
2020 published by Diaphanes
photo by Marina Cargamo
Queer Ancient Ways
A Decolonial Exploration
Queer Ancient Ways advocates a profound unlearning of colonial/modern categories as a pathway to the discovery of new forms and theories of queerness in the most ancient of sources. In this unconventional work, Zairong Xiang investigates scholarly receptions of mythological figures in Babylonian and Nahua creation myths, exposing the ways they have consistently been gendered as feminine in a manner that is not supported, and in some cases actively discouraged, by the texts themselves. By contextualizing these figures in their respective mythological, linguistic and cultural environments, through a unique combination of methodologies and critical traditions in English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Nahuatl, Xiang departs from the over-reliance of much queer theory on European (post)modern thought. Much more than a queering of the non-Western and non-modern, Queer Ancient Ways thus constitutes a decolonial and transdisciplinary engagement with ancient cosmologies and ways of thought which are in the process themselves revealed as theoretical sources of and for the queer imagination.
2018 published by punctum books