Editorial Note III

dePICTions volume 3 (2023): Critical Ecologies

Editorial Note

Ecology, as we have known it for the past half-century, is in a paradoxical state of permanent crisis, to the point that we can hardly evoke one term without adding the other. Equated, as such, to ecological crisis, ecology is seen as a problem in constant need of solutions. The concept has therefore acquired highly dystopian traits, looming all too easily over our future in the form of a menacing catastrophe. In the process, the old ecological paradigm centered on stability and prediction has been replaced by a much more fluid and dramatic understanding of ecosystems and change.

The critical state of ecology makes it one of the most significant challenges we face today. Moreover, the ecological crisis inevitably intersects with other social, political, and philosophical concerns of central importance, ranging from environmental justice to colonial dispossession, from climate migration to urban ecologies, which all call for a transdisciplinary and critical approach. While critical thinking and the quest for sustainability certainly converge in a critique of domination in its many forms, critical thinking must also be called upon to question the quest’s many, still-too-anthropocentric drifts.

This third volume of dePICTions collects articles by Cara Judea Alhadeff, Aaron M. Ellison & Eric Zeigler, Jack Goldingham Newsom, Astrid Guillaume, Anindita Mukherjee, Wolfgang Pannek, and Zipporah Weisberg & Carlo Salzani. Each contribution tackles the theme from a different perspective, ranging from affect theory to anti-capitalist environmentalism, from ecoperformance to political ecology, from the political turn in animal ethics to African Ubuntu philosophy, and much more.

The articles are complemented by three book reviews by Denis Papadopoulos, Carlo Salzani, and Iain MacKenzie, and by an interview by Zipporah Weisberg & Carlo Salzani with the Viennese philosopher and author Fahim Amir. Finally, the volume is concluded by Evrim Emir-Sayers’ translation of Nazım Hikmet’s children’s tale, “A Cloud in Love,” whose ecological meaning(s) are not only evident but also provide a beautiful and hopeful closing for a dramatic and stimulating set of reflections.

Carlo Salzani
Curating Editor