In its brief tenure, the Anthropocene has metamorphosed. It has been taken up in the world, purposed, and put to work as a conceptual grab, materialist history, and cautionary tale of planetary predicament. Equally, this planetray analytic has failed to do the work to properly identify its own histories of colonial earth-writing, to name the masters of broken earths, and to redress the legacy ofracialized subjects that geology leaves in its wake.

             Kathryn Yussof


With this un-privileging of origin stories, this thesis calls queers  the notions of progress and modernity that govern the Anthropocene. By building things through diverse engineering, without contemplation of what “it should be,” the scavengers follow the principles of “Jugaad”- an Indian concept with the closest translation being “making do” or “frugal innovation.”  

Anthroponormative actions have been shown to be entangled with the othered entities and forces of the planet, resulting in a climatological crisis where negative effects are temporally and spatially separated from their human causes, and therefore fall outside the human frame of reference. The technological tools that capitalist humanity has used to preserve the standard anthropocentric space have been instrumental in putting that same space in crisis.



While this Vellum entry was always meant to be furniture for the competition, it was created with the principle of Jugaad. The steering wheel was not concerned with the search for original instrumentality. It afforded sitting, so it was sat on. This method is intended to clear a space for the development of multiple alternative narratives and to examine the way this diversity of narratives informs the structure of this society's life around the interprete meanings of the abandoned objects


This thesis is, therefore, an attempt at queer world-making. It calls for de-centering of the human subject. This de-centering requires a re-imagination of everything that would have previously been encompassed in an oikos-a home, to begin with. Speculated in the aftermath of a global climatological crisis, this thesis dreams of a world where humans are scavengers. Focusing on the technological tools that the Capitalocene  has used to preserve the standard anthropocentric space, this thesis queers the need for original instrumentality. The scavengers find these technological artifacts, but are deprived of the capitalocentric and normative narratives that defined their original instrumentality. This defamiliarization of technology would create a  multitude of new subjectivities that would blur the boundaries between human and non-human, standard and the other. This would result in a flat ontology of consciousness that would reveal new ways of living.

Queerness is not here yet. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer.

           José Esteban Muñoz

Queerness is not here yet. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer.


                      José Esteban Muñoz

The Anthropocene is a gentrifying term. As Zoe Todd mentions in Indigenizing the Anthropocene, “The complex and paradoxical experiences of diverse people as humans-in-the-world, including the ongoing damage of colonial and imperialist agendas, can be lost when the narrative is collapsed to a universalisizing species paradigm.” When bodies are standardized, their expected behaviours are standardized as well. This image is attempting to challenge the accepted “rituals” of childbirth. When every person giving birth experiences it in different ways, why is the universalized horizontal bed the space of that experience?

multiplicities rejecting universalities

The image shows a pregnant person in a contraption that is engineered by the scavengers to have free movement to allow for the pregnant body to position itself the way it needs to. The person in the back is manually aiding pushing using a resistance-based mechanism that allows them to push using their legs. The tube at the top of the mechanism holds water that trickles down the tubes and wets the attached fabric, keeping the pregnant person’s body temperature low. The baby slides down the tube into a pool as it leaves the body. These images have borrowed elements from indigenous birthing practices of being somewhat vertical while giving birth and the Nilotic tribe practice of assisted pushing. 

This world is characterized by multiplicities, it is built on intersectionality. As it attempts to blur the binaries between humans, nonhumans, nature and technologies, that intersectionality is attributed to all those beings. Therefore, these images are a manifestation of that. The same contraption that was used as a birthing mechanism, is utilized as a watering hold for a small bird and a possible hunting ground for the hawk watching it. It also becomes a mechanism to build food, as in the image below. The resistance mechanism used by the person to aid pushing now becomes a collection spot that can push compressed food out throught the holes that held the pregnant person’s body.  The leg holders hold a fabric filled with herb water that drips over the food bundles as they roll down the slide the baby slid down on, into the same pool. One being or one action doesn’t hold privilege over the other, and the nuanced sentiments attached to actions are questioned.  

The Anthropocene is an aesthetic event, therefore, queering it requires a, “re-ordering of our biological perception under the Anthropocene,” as Amanda Boetzkes argues. This means that the ways in which we perceive time, catastrophe, loss, shifts. To be able to conceptualize this, this thesis turns to Indigenous knowledges and epistemologies. Time remains crucial in how we perceive the world. Indigenous communities view time as a cyclical mechanism, where the past exists simultaneously in the present, simulating a future. This allows them to perceive death and birth as gears in the larger scope of things. Within Western thought, Individuality is privileged and time is linear. One lifetime is marked by birth and death and there are specified emotions attached to those concepts. If the concept of Individuality is de-centered, then temporalities shift. 

This image is an attempt to question the temporalities of a life. In the first hole on the left, a person is relaxing, and communicating with the person who is layering food in the second hole. The third hole holds bodies that are no longer alive. It remains irrelevant if they were buried at the same time or years apart, because the past is simultaneously the future, and the end of the day, they will become compost for something else to grow from. The fourth hole holds an ostrich sitting on her eggs, waiting for her babies to become alive.


This representation is an attempt to question the esoteric behaviours attached to handling death and all that a death seems to demand. If decentering occurs, is death sacred?