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Decolonial {R}evolution: Petrocracy and Geological Modernity from Detroit to Palestine and Back

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image of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas

This article explores what Grace Lee Boggs called {r}evolution—the horizontal construction of autonomous power from below by multiple subjects—in the context of anthropogenic climate change. This is a decolonial uprising from Haiti to Detroit against petrocracy, or the mutually reinforcing rule of fossil fuels and monotheism. I pursue a decolonial reading of the Holocene/Anthropocene geological epochs through an anarchaeological, visual, and discourse analysis of the excavations at Tell-es-Sultan, asserted to be the site of the biblical Jericho, to reconsider the “human.” The article interacts present-day, on-site conditions at the Palestinian refugee camp ‘Ein-as-Sultan with Kathleen Kenyon’s famous excavations (1952–1958), her discoveries and the museology associated with them, and the geopolitical and religious claims made for the site. I conclude by analyzing how “Detroit” is becoming the floating name for the non-continuous spaces of the displaced world, where displacement, drought, and counterinsurgency intermingle to deadly effect.

Affiliations: 1: New York University, New York, NY, USA,


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