Ecocritical work on media has developed from a genre criticism of nature-themed films to address cinema, TV, and media arts more broadly as articulations of the human-natural relation and its mediation through technologies. Embracing the environmental impacts of product life cycles, from materials extraction and industrial production to energy use and recycling, these advances in ecocriticism have begun to address the differential experiences of affected populations. This essay looks at the “environmentalism of the poor” with specific reference to indigenous peoples affected by the digital media industries. It seeks to address a lacuna in mainstream Green politics, drawing on colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial analyses and indigenous methodologies, in order to propose a de-Westernizing move in ecopolitics.
Sean Cubitt is professor of film and television at Goldsmiths, University of London, professorial fellow of the University of Melbourne, and honorary professor of the University of Dundee. His publications include Timeshift: On Video Culture (1991), Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture (1993), Digital Aesthetics (1998), Simulation and Social Theory (2001), The Cinema Effect (2004), and EcoMedia (2005). His new book, The Practice of Light, was published in 2014. He is the series editor for Leonardo Books at MIT Press. His current research focuses on the history and philosophy of visual technologies, on media art history, and on ecocriticism and mediation.