Facing Human Wrongs:

Navigating paradoxes and complexities
of social and global change.

Selective Entanglement

For those of us over-socialized into the Western culture, which is based on separability, it is very difficult to engage with “entanglement” without turning it into a “concept”. Part of the problem is that Western understandings are focused on categorizations that separate things (forms) rather than dynamic physical manifestations where one thing always morphs into another (movement). In contrast, for many Indigenous peoples, entanglement is not a concept, but “worldedness”, something akin to spiral pattern of life and death, where everything eventually turns into everything else. According to Maori philosopher Carl Mika, worldedness  is a phenomenon that exceeds our human  imagination, since humans are also part of this manifestation (see Mika, 2017). From this perspective, entanglement can only be a great mystery – something much larger than the temporality and comprehension of humanity. This is important to calibrate the human intellect away from arrogance and towards more humble and equivocal knowledge production.

The collection of artistic practices and pop culture invitation below show different engagements with distinct aspects of entanglement. The collection shows contemporary artists’ attempts to make entanglement visible and tangible. The invitation for engagement with pop culture asks you to reflect critically on patterns of visibilization and invisibilization of different aspects of entanglement and historical and systemic violence in the film “My Octopus teacher”.

Collection of artistic practices

Battle for the Woodlands by Bonnie Devine here.

On air exhibition by Tomás Saraceno here.

“Four Nocturnes” by John Akomfrah here.

Invitation for engagement with pop culture

Watch “My Octopus Teacher” on Netflix and observe what aspects of entanglement and historical and systemic violence were made visible and invisible. Think about the connection between the diver and the octopus and also about the connections between the diver and the history of colonialism in South Africa, the communities that have access to the sea, the beneficiaries of the financial benefits of the documentary and how the film centres certain sensibilities and ways of being over others. You can also compare this approach to entanglement to the approach of Studio Ghibli films like Princess Mononoke, Totoro and Spirited Away.

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