I am very excited and honored to be introducing Even Though the Whole World Is Burning at the ASLE conference tomorrow (Friday, June 26th). We just heard from Anna Tsing and Donna Haraway on “Tunneling in the Chthulucene: Stories for Resurgence on a Damaged Planet.” They suggest other ways of understanding and conceptualizing and responding to the “Anthropocene,” one of which involves the fall out from plantations. Perhaps the “plantationocene,” they suggest, is a better way of seeing human impact. Plantations are fertile grounds for feral fungi that wreak havoc. In this context, Merwin’s work as a planter is most necessary and crucial at finding better ways at living on this shared planet. The documentary explores how he took 18 acres of a denuded pineapple plantation and, over 37 years, turned it into a palm forest of more than 2,700 individual palm trees from 480 different taxonomic species and 900 different horticultural varieties.
As the magnitude of the damaged planet continues to sink into our collective consciousness, his story points toward possible resurgences.
1:30 at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, Moscow, ID