Spinning Flesh Into Gold

Greenhough, Amy (2021) Spinning Flesh Into Gold. In: ICFA: "Climate Change and the Anthropocene", 18th-21st March 2021, Online. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

In both Bong Joon-ho’s Netflix film Okja (2016) and Karen Russell’s short story ‘Reeling for the Empire’ (2013), the production of saleable ‘goods’ disrupts the supposed boundaries between human and nonhuman existence. The genetically-engineered super-pigs and the hybrid kaiko-women are capitalist productions, born of sustainable desires by a system designed to profit from them. As the women in ‘Reeling for the Empire’ spin their yarns for capitalist torturers, the super-pig Okja, a mixture of science and nature, embodies the posthuman subject as the tool of capitalism – trapped in the machine of global trade. ‘[A]dvanced capitalism and its bio-genetic technologies’, Rosi Braidotti notes, ‘engender a perverse form of the posthuman. At its core there is a radical disruption of the human-animal interaction, but all living species are caught in the spinning machine of the global economy.’ Both the genetically engineered Okja and the hybrid silk-worm/woman Kitsune disrupt the concept of the human, asking, as Haraway did, ‘which identities are available to ground such a potent political myth called “us”, and what could motivate enlistment in this collectivity?’ Using a posthuman, vital materialist lens, this paper will examine how Okja and ‘Reeling for the Empire’, in different ways, offer reflections on human/nonhuman relationships that invite questions about capitalism and production, the manufacture of goods and the creation of supposedly ‘sustainable’ alternatives that maintain the lifestyles of humans, ultimately destabilising and ridiculing the anthropocentrism of not only our stories, but also our modes of living.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: capitalism nonhumanity bodies production slavery posthuman fairy-tale
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > International Film
Writing & Journalism > Literature
Writing & Journalism
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Depositing User: Amy Greenhough
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2021 09:37
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2021 09:37
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/4417

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