Employing iconic religious imagery to send messages about a modern day problem, the new “Abused Goddesses” Campaign highlighting domestic violence in India is garnering attention. Hand-painted images (based on photos of live models) of bruised, battered, and beaten Hindu goddesses are followed by this caption:
Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.
In classical mythology Gyges was a shepherd who discovered a magical ring that could make him invisible. Armed with his new power, Gyges eventually killed the king, married the queen and seized the throne. ‘Invisibility’, [Grégoire] Chamayou notes, ‘conferred upon him a kind of invulnerability.’ In Plato’s Republic the story is used to ask searching questions about virtue and justice: what happens to morality, to virtue, if it becomes possible to evade responsibility for one’s actions?
The dilemma is no longer confined to the realm of story-telling or philosophical speculation, Chamayou argues, because the thought-experiment has been realised through the political technology of the drone. The modern answer to Plato’s question is now all too clear: invisibility produces not only invulnerability but also impunity.
“…acknowledge the central role that knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe play in maintaining sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity and in helping communities to ensure food security and health; and encourage establishing sound and effective safeguarding mechanisms […] addressing appropriately the relationship between transmission and innovation and between safeguarding and commercial use.”
If terror thrives on the production of epistemic murk and metamorphosis, it nevertheless requires the hermeneutic violence that creates feeble fictions in the guise of realism, objectivity, and the like, flattening contradiction and systematizing chaos.
All societies live by fictions taken as real. What distinguishes cultures of terror is that the epistemological, ontological, and otherwise philosophical problem of representation–reality and illusion, certainty and doubt […] becomes a high-powered medium of domination…
link through below to video of a lecture by Brazilian anthropologist and Amazon specialist Eduardo Viveriros de Castro situating discourses on the anthropocene against the background of eschatological imagination and myth — part of the UC Davis Sawyer Seminar series
Being the Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion. Edinburgh, 18-28 February, 2013
rethinking “nature” toward the epoch of the Anthropocene
(warning: links navigate directly to a large PDF file)
It cannot be said purely and simply of the world that it is: it exists in the form of an initial asymmetry, which shows itself in a variety of ways according to the angle from which it is being apprehended. […] This inherent disparity of the world sets mythic thought in motion.