Green Orientalism, Brown Occidentalism and Chinese Ecological Civilization
Deconstructing the Culturalization of the Anthropocene to Nurture Transcultural Environmentalism
Keywords:Anthropocene, Chinese ecological civilization, green orientalism, illiberal postcolonialism, transcultural environmentalism
Among the many things the Anthropocene is changing about human ways to live and think, one can include our understanding of human cultures and of their relations. Facing the Anthropocene and its diverse manifestations (climate change and rising temperatures, biodiversity loss and oceans acidification, etc.), there is a strong temptation to resort to predefined cultural assumptions to provide ready-made narratives of guilty scapegoats and unlikely saviours satisfying our religious need for radical alternatives and our exotic craving for deep otherness. This essay aims to critically analyse the various attempts to culturalize the Anthropocene with a focus on Green Orientalism and Brown Occidentalism—as we will coin the different culturalist narratives surrounding the notion of “Chinese Ecological Civilization”. Our goal is to promote the idea that the ubiquity of ecological issues calls for the Transculturality of Environmentalism. To achieve such a task, the deconstruction of the “onto-culturalism” of contemporary sinology is necessary.
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