This essay discusses how Puerto Ricans are imagining and building new futures out of a political context of material and affective ruin that is not guided by the promise of a modernist future or the palliative anticipation of a sovereignty to come. It examines how the politics of ruination might lead to a “hopeful pessimism” that could break with the nostalgic immobility of the arrested present. It concludes by exploring the possibilities of an emerging cuir (queer) futurity that breaks with raced and gendered scripts of postcolonial sovereignty to envision a new postdisaster future.
Postdisaster Futures: Hopeful Pessimism, Imperial Ruination, and La futura cuir
Yarimar Bonilla is a professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Hunter College and in the PhD Program in Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment (2015); a coeditor of Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm (2019); and a founder of the Puerto Rico Syllabus Project.
Yarimar Bonilla; Postdisaster Futures: Hopeful Pessimism, Imperial Ruination, and La futura cuir. Small Axe 1 July 2020; 24 (2 (62)): 147–162. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-8604562
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