African experiences have so far not been central to Anthropocene debates. While the Anthropocene usefully theorizes the planetary dimensions of environmental change, how do its propositions hold when applied to specific and widely divergent settings? Drawing from three examples—copper mining in Zambia, gold mining in South Africa, and oil drilling in Nigeria—this article examines varied experiences of environmental change in the Anthropocene. Resource extraction, which moves tons of earth and heavily pollutes the air and soils, epitomizes the Anthropocene. In order to grasp ways of living with extraction and its toxic legacies in African localities, it is necessary to consider situated histories of capitalism and colonialism and how these have generated intersectional positionalities, in terms of gender, socioeconomic status, and race. These histories inform actors’ abilities to envisage alternatives to the Anthropocene in the present and future. Inspired by decolonial frameworks, this article begins to chart more plural ways to write the Anthropocene.

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