Members get FREE access to Cinema 3. Join today.
Sign up
to emails
Of Animacy Reading Group: Waste
Institute of Contemporary Arts

A water reservoir in the Yangtze river, Shanghai. Image by Joshua Stevens and Jesse Allen using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA Earth Observatory

Of Animacy reconvenes for the first time in 2020 to discuss urban and global flows of waste and the establishment of these flows in the Western colonial enterprise.

In her 2019 essay ‘Capitalocene, Waste, Race, and Gender’, feminist activist and scholar Françoise Vergès maps how the labour of cleaning and caring is racialised and gendered. Vergès argues that this perpetuates the exclusive access of white bodies to clean spaces in which to perform professional success and economic growth.

Vergès unpacks the binary of ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ geographical zones constructed in the Global North, where the image of ‘cleanliness’ is maintained with the present-day colonialism of shipping waste to the Global South. Vergès looks to the potential of cleaning and caring as emancipatory practices that could manifest as forms of collective responsibility to repair social and ecological damage.

Under discussion:

Françoise Vergès, ‘Capitalocene, Waste, Race, and Gender’, e-flux Journal #100, May 2019

For access to the text and further information on the reading group, please email

Reading the selected text in advance is recommended but not necessary. Printed copies will be available at the gathering and excerpts of the text will be read together to support open discussion.

Of Animacy meets every month at the ICA and is always open to all.
Led by curator Nella Aarne, Of Animacy thinks through feminist engagements with human and non-human agents in the material world, spanning philosophy and science. The texts and discussions meander through a multiplicity of concepts and ways of thinking, developing into a vibrant web of ideas – the shape and character of which will organically unfold over time. Of Animacy fosters learning through open discussion in a democratic space, with an aim to recognise vital alliances for our daily life and political thought.
07:00 pm
Tue, 04 Feb 2020

Free, booking required

All programme on Cinema 3 is free to ICA members from £10 / month. Join today to enjoy membership benefits.