Tag Archives: imagination

The point to be noted is that the positions in dispute, no less than the interactions among them, are constructed out of, and propelled by, logics of the imagination as much as they are by logics of capital, politics, religion, or any other regime of power and authority because the interpretive energies and capacities of the imagination so often determine the way other logics can be construed and employed.

Giles Gunn, Ideas to Die For: The Cosmopolitan Challenge (2013)

A frontier is an edge of space and time: a zone of not yet–not yet mapped, not yet regulated. It is a zone of unmapping: even in its planning, a frontier is imagined as unplanned. Frontiers aren’t just discovered at the edge; they are projects in making geographical and temporal experience. Frontiers make wildness, entangling visions and vines and violence; their wildness is both material and imaginative. The wildness reaches backward as well as forward in time, bringing old forms of savagery to life in the contemporary landscape. Frontiers energize old fantasies, even as they embody their impossibilities.

Anna Tsing, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (2005)

How is the presence of future catastrophes ‘manufactured’? Along what routes does risk acquire the predicate ‘real’ — in other words, how does it come to reign as ‘believed’ anticipation in people’s minds and in institutions and indeed often across the boundaries between nations, regions, religions, and political parties and between rich and poor? The distinction between risk as anticipated catastrophe and the actual catastrophe forces us instead to take the role of staging seriously. For only by imagining and staging world risk does the future catastrophe become present…

Ulrich Beck, World at Risk (2009)

The ‘clash of risk cultures’, the collision of culturally different ‘risk realities’ (i.e. perceptions of risk), is developing into a fundamental problem of global politics in the twenty-first century.

…risk is not an objectively measurable quantity. What does the ‘reality’ of risk mean? Risks do not have any abstract existence in themselves. They […] count as urgent, threatening, and real or as negligible and unreal only as a result of particular cultural perceptions and evaluations.

Ulrich Beck, World At Risk  (2009)