The politics of make/believe: Locating the intersections of contempoary anarchism, indigenous decolonization and women of color feminisms
Warburton, Theresa Anne
MetadataShow full item record
Entitled The Politics of Make/Believe: Locating the Intersection of Contemporary Anarchism, Indigenous Decolonization, and Women of Color Feminisms, this project interrogates the intersections of contemporary anarchist, feminist, and indigenous theories and movements. Scholars and activists concerned with the challenges of building resistance movements in a transnational world have become increasingly interested in anarchism because it has been a core political current of the global justice movement and media fascination since the 1990s and continuing to the contemporary moment with Occupy Wall Street. Many argue that, because of its foundations in horizontal movement building, consensus based decision-making, and an opposition to all forms of hierarchy, there exists a natural affinity between anarchism and anti-racist, feminist, and decolonizing movements that can be re-imagined and implemented on a global scale. However, I argue that, despite these potential affinities, contemporary anarchist scholars have been unsuccessful at developing an anarchist praxis that is capable of attending to questions of race, gender, and settler colonialism in the global context as well as within anarchist movements themselves. By analyzing texts by anarchist scholars and activists, I demonstrate that the intersections of contemporary anarchism, indigenous decolonization, and women of color feminisms often arise at moments of antagonism rather than affinity. I explore how contemporary anarchists depend on rhetoric that reproduces American exceptionalism, sexual violence, and settler colonialism within anarchist spaces, making these structures legible within radical discourse itself. I end by suggesting that the location of intersection between contemporary anarchism, indigenous decolonization, and women of color feminisms not in identical analyses of domination but rather in the vision for political praxis expressed in each. Drawing on literary works by authors such as Audre Lorde, Emma Pérez, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo, Deborah Miranda, Toni Cade Bambara, Ruth Ozeki, and Gail Tremblay, I emphasize the predominance of a 'politics of make/believe' within women of color feminisms, indigenous decolonization movements, and contemporary anarchism. Grounded in an interdisciplinary methodology, this project employs a transnational approach to the study of contemporary radical social movements in order to imagine a global justice movement that is capable of being broadly applicable while still able to attend to dynamics of difference and specificity. Underscoring the indelible connection between imagining alternative futures and bringing those futures into being in the present, The Politics of Make/Believe demonstrates how attention to praxis can reorient our understanding of the relationship between radical social movements and the possibilities they present to and for each other.