Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Resiliency (Neoliberal Happiness), Mourning, and Restoration" by Jigna Desai and Rani Neutill

Resiliency (Neoliberal Happiness), Mourning, and Restoration The physical, cognitive, psychic and affective dimensions of resiliency are used to identify and measure those factors that enable individualities and collectives to withstand and adjust to adversity. Resiliency points to how people manage harm and its impacts despite the suffering and death caused by various forms of violence and neglect, e.g. micro-aggressions, overcrowded trains, lack of necessities – health care, food, water, shelter and medicine, environmental degradation and destruction. While resiliency can be used to identify and recognize agency, strategies, and knowledge, it also can work as a demand… Here, resiliency does not imply that security is possible or life guaranteed; instead, it recognizes that exposure to harm is a constitutive process of existence for the individual and living systems and that resiliency also entails living with injury and the possibility of continuing loss… We want to borrow from ecological and justice models to imagine a different response – what we might call postcolonial restoration. Postcolonial restoration addresses harm and the distribution of vulnerabilities, but it also recognizes that loss and trauma are constitutive and continuing processes of postcolonial existence. Postcolonial restoration demands three ethical modes of response: 1) sitting with trauma, 2) implication, and 3) reparation. Neutill theorizes what it means to sit with trauma as an affective and ethical mode of being. Sitting with trauma reorients us towards an understanding of mourning as an ethical mode of relationship to loss through what I term sitting with. Neither static nor terminal, sitting with is not melancholic, but rather an ongoing dynamic process that undoes conventional notions of mourning. We may walk away from the loss and trauma, but we also come back – an interminable mourning. In this case, there is no restoration to an original or pure form prior to the wound, but a continual process of recognition; the constitutive and continuing aspects of trauma. Moreover, in recognizing the distribution of vulnerabilities, one needs to focus on the harm that is inflicted as much as the harm that is suffered –Thomas suffers, but also must account for his own complicity in inflicting harm. In understanding the distribution of vulnerabilities across the living ecosystem, one must note how one is entangled and interdependent with modes of violence without claiming impunity.... Implication in this case means the necessity of acknowledging interdependency and recognizing distributions of vulnerability that mark certain forms of violence, harm and death while abandoning others as disposable to slow deaths. The third ethical response is reparation. Increased security from the state is not demanded as a salve to heal wounds, as security cannot be achieved. But there must be an on-going attempt to salve the wound that cannot be healed. In this case, borrowing not from the more legalistic reparations (to pay), but from the ecological to repair (to rejuvenate and heal). The role of reparations is to restore not to an original unwounded state of being, but to engage in continual healing and recognition of loss and trauma in an ecological and systemic way. Reparation may never end as recognition of vulnerability and trauma continue within postcolonial restoration. As the loss continues and vulnerabilities are addressed but continue to proliferate, postcolonial restoration is an on-going process. Jigna Desai and Rani Neutill

No comments:

Post a Comment