Rooting Out the Weeds that Bind: Disemboweling the Devil after 2020
Blending creative fiction and feminist auto-ethnography, this photographic essay speaks from the compost pile of my ethnographic work on anti-feminism, drawing on both pessimistic and optimistic allegories from the garden to photosynthesize knowledge free from the conventional modalities of academic theory-making. It observes the end of 2020 (and 2021) with a both/and offer: a medium for processing the collective trauma of 2020 –the Year of the Bindweed– and an invitation to whimsically imagine the otherwise in the insurgent thallopower of the coming epoch, the Era of the Mushroom. As I strive to uproot its endless twists and turns, I follow bindweed’s path from Minneapolis to Mars and back as it courses through countless crises only to wind up back in my garden, rooted in an entangled system of White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, imperialism, and capitalism with no clear beginning or end to unravel.
Annie Wilkinson is a feminist researcher, PhD Candidate in anthropology at the University of California -Irvine, and imaginative composter and gardener. She likes to dig into the earth to root around for answers to her many questions, including how and why organized anti-feminist, anti-gender, and anti-LGBT movements are growing like weeds across many parts of the world, including Mexico, where she focuses her ethnographic research. She was a mushroom in her past life and hopes to become one again in her next life.