Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene
The Camille Stories: Children of Compost
Chapter 8 is an invitation to a collective speculative fabulation that follows five generations of a symbiogenetic join of a human child and monarch butterflies along the lines and nodes of these insects’ migrations between Mexico and the United States and Canada. These lines trace socialities and materialities crucial to living and dying with critters on the edge of disappearance so that they might go on. Committed to nurturing capacities to respond and cultivating ways to render each other capable, the Communities of Compost appeared in the early twenty-first century on ruined lands all over the world. These communities committed to reduce human numbers over a few hundred years while practicing multispecies and multiregional environmental justice of myriad kinds. Every new child had at least three human parents; and the pregnant parent exercised reproductive freedom in the choice of an animal symbiont for the child, a choice that ramified across the generations of all the species. The relations of symbiogenetic people and unjoined humans brought many surprises, some of them deadly, but perhaps the deepest surprises emerged from the relations of the living and the dead, in symanimagenic complexity, across the holobiomes of earth.