2019 — Interview

Biology is not destiny, it can be technologically transformed

Interviewer: Toni Navarro

With: Helen Hester


From my perspective, there are two influential figures for xenofeminism who might be thought of as totemic of ideological fault lines within the project– Shulamith Firestone on the one hand and Sadie Plant on the other. These two are not easy bedfellows. One emphasises hegemony, the other insurgency; one concentrates on the sovereign subject, the other on the swarm, and so on – programme vs. eruption, construction vs. generative destruction, control vs. escape. These are some of the conflicts that find expression within xenofeminism. Both tendencies are necessary, I think, though they appear to be at odds with each other, and represent a source of perspectival tension within the manifesto. This is one reason why the mesopolitical comes to be so important in my own elaboration of XF – it is a means of mediating between the collective’s investments in Firestonian counter-hegemony and Plantian distributed, decentralized insurrection. An emphasis on political transits – on transitioning between various scales of thinking and action – is helpful here, though it does not alleviate all the tensions by any means. We must learn to accept a degree of openness, messiness, and conflict as a perhaps inevitable by-product of collaborative thinking.