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The “collision of the Old and New” covers over the friction of a less smooth, more corporeal set of racialized violences.
In the language of exchange, it might be assumed that something was given rather than just taken.
1610 The earliest suggested date in the history of material exchanges is the 1610 thesis, dating the Anthropocene’s start to the European invasion of the Americas, or “New World,” and the so-called exchange in flora and fauna.
Authors Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin call this the “Collision of the Old and New Worlds.” Tying the Anthropocene to conquest makes explicit the colonial relation, but how does this rupture of bodies, flesh, and worlds become buried in the notion of exchange and contact?
This led to a massive reduction in farming and the regeneration of forests and carbon uptake or sequestration by forests, leading to an observed decline in Antarctic ice cores of CO2 in the atmosphere.
This “Orbis spike” of systematic murder marks the instigation of Global-World-Space (an understanding of the world as a global entity that is open to the conquest of the entirety of its spatialized and subjective relations).
As Europeans invaded the Caribbean, deforming and decimating the indigenous “Caribs,” they began to use the islands as an experimental archipelago in terms of both the social organization of categories of human the ecological arrangements of flora and fauna.
The invasion of Europeans in the Americas resulted in a massive genocide of the indigenous population, leading to a decline from 54 million people in the Americas in 1492 to approximately 6 million in 1650, a result of murder, enslavement, famine, and disease.
The Anthropocene cannot dust itself clean from the inventory of which it was made: from the cut hands that bled the rubber, the slave children sold by weight of flesh, the sharp blades of sugar, all the lingering dislocation from geography, dusting through diasporic generations. The 1610 natal moment does, however, tie the origin of the Anthropocene to the death of 50 million indigenous people (80 to 95 percent of the population), systematic violence, and chattel slavery.This refiguring of slaves trafficked to gold mines is borne into the language of the inhuman, whereupon Blackness becomes characterized through its ledger of matter, which in turn populates the idea of race.Extending Wynter’s argument, 1492 marks also the structural inclusion of Man’s Others into the geological lexicon of the inhuman (as matter and energy) and the exclusion from its material wealth, whereby humanness becomes differentiated by the inhuman objectification of indigenous and black subjects.By 1510, there is the start of the systematic transportation of African slaves to the New World.By the time Shakespeare’s play is first performed in 1611 (a year after the proposed start date), the enslaved figures of Caliban and Ariel are familiar subjects in the Old World.