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The Planetary Wretched

The Planetary Wretched: A Post-Colonial Narrative Architecture Poetry Book
Author: Cruz Garcia
Co-Author: Nathalie Frankowski, Shravan Arun, Tejumola Bayowa, Charlotte Elo, editors
Published: Urbana-Champaign: Illinois Architecture, 2021

Pedagogical, curatorial, and collectivist experiments

In the opening chapter of his book The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon describes the grueling process of decolonization and the violent relationship between the suppressor and subjugated. In this process of ‘total disorder’, the violence that is continuously inflicted via the institutions and upon the people takes many forms, from ‘rifle butts’ to ‘napalm’. But what happens when an era of planetary entanglement, where global networks of mass communication and speculative economies of omnidirectional influence accumulate not only colossally asymmetrical amounts of wealth, but generate conditions that go beyond what Fanon called the ‘border’ that used to divide the colonized world in two? The current imbrication of extractive financial markets, a global pandemic, environmental decay, and world-wide manifestations against the colonial legacy of the police, the carceral system, and the post-industrial military complex suggest a move beyond the idea of a world split by an allegorical ‘border’, to a crisis that spills over the planet like organic matter. This condition of planet-wide violent interventions, precarity, scarcity, and technological escalation, where racialized, gendered, and class-ified bodies, and the earth are treated as territories for technological exploration, for the “fracturing and fissuring,” “emptying vessels,” and “drilling,” suggests a new era of the Planetary Wretched.

The Planetary Wretched explores “brutalist” landscapes of depletion through imaginaries that recall afro and indigenous futurism, speculative narratives and poetic prose. A narrative architecture theory in the form of a poetry book, The Planetary Wretched was produced as part of a series of seminars with students at Land Grant institutions, Loudreaders sessions, curatorial, and collectivist experiments. The book explores critical narratives at the intersection of post-colonial theory, ecology, gender, indigeneity, extraction, geopolitics, biopolitics, and race. Co-edited by members of Post-Novis with WAI Think Tank, The Planetary Wretched: A Post-Colonial Narrative Architecture Poetry Book includes contributions by Kordae Jatafa Henry, Pedro Neves Marques, Liu Yujia, Raquel Salas Rivera, Ellen Larson, Luis Othoniel Rosa, Christopher Rey Perez, Post-Novis and students from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UC Berkeley, and Virginia Tech.

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