Sam Keogh | Ecofascism and Survivalism

On Friday, April 29 2022, Sam Keogh presented the talk “Ecofascism and Survivalism”, in conversation with Tiziana Terranova (professor in sociology of cultural and communicative processes in the Department of Human Sciences, University of Naples L’Orientale, member and co-founder of the Research Unit on Technocultures, and member of the Centre for Postcolonial and Gender Studies).

Sam Keogh drew on his research, conducted for the making of the film “The Island,” to expand a critical vocabulary to indicate the possibility of innovative responses to current social and environmental crises, based on solidarity rather than competition. In “The Island,” specially commissioned for Rethinking Nature, Keogh draws connections between Fortnite, a popular multiplayer video game whose rules are akin to the concept of ‘survivalism,’ and what happens outside the game, in real life, where such eco-fascist imaginaries seem to replicate the dynamics that play out in the video game, which has attracted more than 350 million players. What political imaginaries can emerge from the fear of imminent ecological collapse? The ongoing environmental disaster is perceived by a growing wave of ‘ecofascist’ discourse as a threat to territorial integrity. In some communities in the United States and Europe, the fears generated by such catastrophism are advancing visions of a totalitarian ‘ethno-state’ that asserts itself through the imposition of ‘sacrifices’ inflicted on sectors of the population with the justification of ecological conservation.