THE LONG TERM YOU CANNOT AFFORD.
ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE TOXIC
research, performance and exhibition project
Opening 25.10.2019 19:00
26.10.– 08.12.2019 Thurs–Sun 14:00–19:00
The intensifying manifestations of toxic destruction on marginalized and segregated communities and on the long-run, the earth system as a whole, have increasingly gathered the attention of artists, cultural practitioners and more generally people and groups from different walks of life who, in their diverse ways, are untangling the systemic nature of toxic dissemination by tracing and analysing the sources, trajectories and ramifications of its travels on a global scale. Structural inequality has produced a market of exchange that enables the global North to export, or “externalize”, dirty processes and hazardous materiality to the global South at the cost of uncalculated environmental risks and public health hazards on the receiving end. At the same time, weak legislations, corruption, inadequate monitoring, exploitative and opportunistic corporate politics allow for the continuous and insidious spread of toxic destruction. Asymmetrical power relations and programmatic obliterations enable citizens of big polluting countries to remain relatively oblivious to the consequences of their unsustainable lifestyle choices. One core issue is that this toxic dissemination is slow and unspectacular, and that the often unquantifiable damage produced by the toxic, surpasses many spatial and temporal conceptions known to man so far, systematically leaving the majority of its victims, human and non-human, unaccounted for.
The third chapter of our long-term investigation on THE INVENTION OF SCIENCE with this research exhibition and discursive program, looks into the contemporary politics of toxic (waste) trades and their economies, within the context of the racial Capitalocene. As Françoise Vergès writes “a connection (…) between the Western conception of nature as ‘cheap’ and the global organization of a ‘cheap,’ racialized, disposable workforce"  and the unequal and deeply racialized distribution of environmental catastrophes. With it we engage in an effort to expand the notion of what the toxic is conceived and perceived as, beyond the scientific paradigm, instead entering into a different epistemological realm that has to do with a multitude of systems of belief, perception and knowledge production.
Curator Antonia Alampi
Research curator Caroline Ektander
Co-Curators Jasmina Al-Quaisi Kamila Metwaly
Managment Lema Sikod
Communications Anna Jäger
This exhibition is part of Toxic Commons –– a platform that writes texts, organizes public programs and acts as a body of research in and around toxic dissemination and the environmental injustice inherent to it. Toxic Commons is founded by: Caroline Ektander, Antonia Alampi and SAVVY Contemporary, Simone Müller and the research group "Hazardous Travels. Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy" of the Rachel Carson Center, including Ayushi Dhawan, Maximilian Feichtner and Jonas Stuck.
THE LONG TERM YOU CANNOT AFFORD. ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE TOXIC is the third chapter of our longterm investigation THE INVENTION OF SCIENCE.
The project is funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Foundation for Arts Initiatives.
Françoise Vergès, "Racial Capitalocene. Is the Anthropocene Racial?", in: Futures of Black Radicalism, Edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin, Verso Books, 2017.