And yet it moves! (Climate) migration as a symptom in the Anthropocene


Journal Article


Bettini, G.


And yet it moves! (Climate) migration as a symptom in the Anthropocene





Vol (No), pp

14(3), 336-350


While the climate-migration nexus raises crucial questions of mobility and climate justice, it is commonly understood through simplistic narratives that reify a complex set of relations. The spectre of environmentally-induced exodus is recurrent in media, policy and activist circles, in spite of numerous studies that reveal the empirical flaws and noxious normative implications of such narratives. This article explores this insistence and the desire(s) for there to be a reified relation between climate and migration such insistence reveals. The article proceeds in three movements. First, it situates discourses on climate migration in relation to the crisis of humanism the Anthropocene signifies. Second, it operates a symptomatic reading of climate migration discourses, drawing on two understandings of symptom elaborated by Lacan ? as ?return of the repressed? and as ?Sinthome?. Read as a symptom, the figure of the climate migrant/refugee appears as the return of fundamental contradictions that carve contemporary regimes of socioecological (re)production. Through the concept of ?Sinthome?, discourses on climate migration can be read as (illusory) attempts to shore up for the waning consistence of modern forms of ?being human?. Finally, the article proposes a symptomatic reading of the Anthropocene itself, and elaborates on what the dissolution of this symptom/ Sinthome would entail.


Bettini, G. (2019). And yet it moves! (Climate) migration as a symptom in the Anthropocene. Mobilities, 14(3), 336-350. DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2019.1612613.