Note — Feb 16, 2020

The Manifesto of Rural Futurism

Seen in → No.113

Source →

I’m not sure if it’s just perception because of what I pay attention to personally or if it’s a larger trend (I think the latter) but there seems to be, by usually urbanity-focused thinkers, a “rediscovery” of the countryside, nature more broadly, and its intersection with infrastructures, systems, and climate change.

We like to think that we care about the countryside. We have an idyllic vision of rural areas as blissful and honest places, as the last (albeit often imaginary) refuges of venerable values. Yet, if we don’t engage in more meaningful ways with rural communities, they might become little more than national parks, totally disconnected from the economy, the politics and the culture of the rest of a country. […]

“The Manifesto of Rural Futurism,” they write, “is a transnational project interrogating current discourses on rurality as authentic, utopic, anachronistic, provincial, traditional and stable, and the binaries that support such discourses: belonging vs. alienation, development vs. backwardness.” […]

[T]he Manifesto of Rural Futurism, rather than referring to Italian Futurism, with which it, however, shares an irreverent and also ironic approach, is directly connected – in a conceptual and practical sense – to the ‘minor’ futurisms of the postcolonial sphere, such as Afro-futurism, in which technologies become tools of awareness and resistance to affirm a series of counter-narratives in relation to positions of inequality and difference.