The Anthropocene names the latest episode in Earth’s history, in which mankind took control over the planet and pushed the Earth System into a new stage of disequilibrium. The Anthropocene epoch is crucially related to the issue of mobility. In a globalized world, goods, people, ideas and services are circulated across the planet. Species migrate to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The Anthropocene also forces some humans to leave their homes: people living at places contaminated by chemical or nuclear waste, the inhabitants of low-lying island, or people relocated for large-scale infrastructure projects like dams or mines. Yet, while some forms of mobility in the Anthropocene are welcomed and even promoted by Western politics, others are stigmatized and impeded.

Anthropocene mobilities is an international network of scholars and experts who collectively discuss the question of how to address the phenomenon of mobility through the lens of the Anthropocene. This website presents a series of short pieces, video interviews, and visual interventions on this topic. The webpage lets you explore the richness of human and non-human stories of mobility and migration in four interactive episodes: mobile ontologies, colonial archives, worlds in motion and posthuman future(s).

Mobile ontologies

The Anthropocene epoch, as Claire Colebrook describes it, “appears to mark as radical a shift in species awareness as Darwinian evolution effected for the nineteenth century.” The first episode, mobile ontologies, adds to this speculative moment by positioning ‘mobility’, as central ontological category that might be drawn upon when confronting ‘the planetary’ as either a philosophical problem or material condition. Together, the five short interventions and two interviews make a simple, yet crucial ontological claim: In a world of becoming, the mobility of people, species and things is the norm rather than the exception.

Colonial archives

The second episode takes the reader back in time – into the colonial archives of Anthropocene mobility. The episode discusses the environmental violence of colonial projects, and traces their impact on current human-nature relations in post-colonial spaces. The historical perspective taken by the short interventions show how local and regional environmental problems are intertwined with local political, social and economic structures and the repercussions of colonialism in places like the Middle East, North America, and the South Pacific.

Worlds in Motion

Worlds in motion, tells different stories of human and non-human mobility in the present world of the Anthropocene. The different interventions paint a comprehensive picture of the complex socio-ecological factors behind increased mobility in the spaces in which planetary change meets the lived realities of local populations, like cities, small island developing states, and indigenous communities. Together, they demonstrate that in the Anthropocene epoch movement and mobility represent the norm and not the exception.

Posthuman future

The final episode ventures a look ahead into the posthuman future(s) and speculates about possible worlds in which the clear boundaries between human and non-human, regular and irregular, planned and unplanned mobility dissolve. Starting from the acknowledgement that that our collective shared existence in the Anthropocene stands to flourish if located in a political awareness grounded in the human proclivity for mobility, movement, and migration the different interventions envisage a posthuman future, in which mobility becomes politically embraced rather than impeded.