2018 — Essay

Xenofeminist Ecologies
(Re)producing Futures Without Reproductive Futurity

Helen Hester

Map Magazine

The subject of xenofeminism is neither woman nor human, if these term are understood as suggesting discrete entities snipped from the wider fabric of technomaterial existence. Instead, xenofeminism is interested in the assemblages within which social agents are embedded. This is evident throughout our recent manifesto, ‘Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation’ — a text that seeks to be very much alive to the entanglement and co-constitution of silicon-based and carbon-based actors. It makes frequent reference to current technoscientific conditions, from online solidarity networks, to the hyperstitional phenomenon of the stock market, to suggestive but embryonic advances in open source medicine. In so doing, the manifesto points to some of the many ways in which technological alteration might generate forms of radical alterity. ‘Nature’, meanwhile, emerges as a recurrent force in the text – not as a naturalising or essentialising underpinning for gender and eco politics, but as an always already technologised space of contestation that fundamentally shapes lived experiences. ‘Nature’ (not least as it is manifested in gendered embodiment) is viewed as a space of experimentation – not a fact to be accepted but a terrain of negotiation to be actively contested for. This is captured in the manifesto’s ultimate call to action: “In the name of feminism, ‘Nature’ shall no longer be a refuge of injustice […] If nature is unjust, change nature!” (Laboria Cuboniks, 2015).