2019 — Critical Essay

Ecologies and Technologies of Reproduction.
Helen Hester, Xenofeminism (Polity, 2018)

Bogna M. Konior

Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy, Vol 31

“The Xenofeminist Manifesto,” first released online by Laboria Cuboniks in 2015 and later printed by Verso was a polemic and a provocation, borne out of furious paragraph assembling in a collectively-edited Google doc. If some hands were more crafty than others in this labor, we can only tell it by studying the solo work of its authors, picking and guessing, recognizing overlapping thematic or stylistic concerns across publications. This, however, would be to the displeasure of the collective, which asserted in the manifesto that Laboria Cuboniks is a blueprint for an open source software, “a mutable architecture,” a platform. For those who wanted to engage in an annotated polemic, this presented a dilemma: how can we debate with a faceless manifesto that changes its directions with ease, like colored blocks on a Rubik’s cube? Manifestos are slippery, incoherent. As Lucca Fraser of Laboria Cuboniks said, manifestos are like “stand up comedy…their job is to point things out . . . [t]o nudge you into adopting a point of view that might not have seemed available beforehand.”