Burning Futures: On Ecologies of Existence

#6 What makes people sick? Racial capitalism and the politics of suffocation

With Edna Bonhomme & Françoise Vergès
Moderation: Margarita Tsomou, Maximilian Haas

Part of the event series “Burning Futures: On Ecologies of Existence


The current environmental crises are rooted in racial capitalist exploitation of both humans and nature. The basic elements of life such as water and fire are violently turned into ‘cheap’ commodities and weaponised against unprivileged communities. “I can’t breathe”, echoed by Black communities around the planet, speaks to a politics of suffocation that works both through social oppression and environmental devastation. Activist and theorist Françoise Vergès engages in a discussion with writer and science historian Edna Bonhomme around the feminist and decolonial aspects of the question of what makes people sick, the racially differentiated exposition to environmental risks, the relation between cleaning and care, and the revolutionary potential of dreaming.


  • Past
    Thu 17.12.2020, 19:00 / HAU4

Preview – The speakers of 2021

January: Barbara Glowczewski and Angela Melitopoulos
February: Suely Rolnik
March: Maria Puig de al Bellacasa and Dimitris Papadopoulos
May: Maja Göpel


An event series by HAU Hebbel am Ufer. Supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.


Digital Stage

HAU’s digital stage

HAU3000 / Positions, Projects, Publications

The Glowing Room

Text by Hendrik Otremba.

An Introduction to “Collectivize Facebook”

By Jonas Staal

“Collectivize Facebook” is a lawsuit aimed to turn Facebook into public property, initiated by artist Jonas Staal and lawyer Jan Fermon. Read here Staal’s introduction to the project.

“Manifestos for Queer Futures”

Video Documentation

As part of the festival “The Present Is Not Enough – Performing Queer Histories and Futures”, HAU initiated an open call for artists based in Berlin, who were invited to submit proposals for their Manifestos for Queer Futures.