Our Manifesto

This manifesto was written over the course of three days at EASA 2014. More than 20 participants in the Anthropology at the Edge of the Future: Forward Play Lab contributed lines, which were cut and moulded by Juan Francisco Salazar, Jude Robinson and Lydia Nicholas, then presented to the attendees of the Media futures panel. It incorporates feedback from dozens of anthropologists, and we hope provides a productive starting point for a network of engaged, creative and bold practitioners.

  1. We are critical ethnographers engaged with confronting and intervening in the challenges of contested and controversial futures.
  2. We are stubbornly transdisciplinary and transnational: we collaborate, hybridise, and compromise. We break boundaries and network without fear of incapacity or contamination.
  3. We de-centre the human, embracing larger ecologies and technological entanglements.
  4. We probe, interrogate and play with futures that are plural, non-linear, cyclical, implausible, and always unravelling.
  5. Anthropology of the future is accretive. It builds on traditions, reflects on pasts.
  6. We are bold enough to engage with complexity and stay with differences and uncertainties. We traverse the macro, mundane and minute and embrace the chaotic, multisensory, performative, and material dimensions of social life in the anthropocene.
  7. We understand and are understood. We foster a politics of listening attuned to a diversity of voices and we tell stories that are imaginative, illustrative and informative. We create and design a variety of materials and processes that are provocative, disruptive, adaptable, and reflexive.
  8. We get our hands dirty. We are ethical, political and interventionist, and take responsibility for interventions.
  9. We may be epistemologically filthy, improvisational and undisciplined. We may struggle and fail and transform.
  10. Anthropology of the future supports current and future members to be part of a strong and recognisable community of practice.
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