In the course of the first two After Progress symposia it has become apparent that, rather than an idea to be criticised, “progress” names instead an entire array of capitalist, colonial and extractivist operations. It is a world-ploughing machine that suffuses the very modern mode of evaluation from which the values of global development, infinite growth, technological innovation, and salvage accumulation are derived. And it is one which simultaneously infuses and animates well-meaning dreams of cosmopolitan redemption, and stories of innocence and reconciliation. Yet, despite its poisonous, ecocidal effects, we have also learned that its ruins are nevertheless teeming with divergent collective experiments whose practices upend the modern dream of progress, cultivating plural and divergent value-ecologies of living with others on Earth. Immanently, such experiments make present that other ways of making life worth living, and of making death worth living for, are not only possible but underway. Thus, in this third session of the series we seek to collectively hold out a trusting hand to a whole series of interstices and undercurrents, to a plurality of minor stories, earthly experiments, speculative propositions, and insistent possibilities, that intensify the political potentials of cultivating pluralistic value-ecologies otherwise – in the ruins of progress.
Dimitris Papadopoulos (Nottingham)
Elizabeth A. Povinelli (Columbia)
Isabelle Stengers (Brussels)
Bronislaw Szerszynski (Lancaster)