Freedom Press

We Are ‘Nature’ Defending Itself: Entangling Art, Activism and Autonomous Zones

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In 2008, as the storms of the financial crash blew, Isabelle Fremeaux and Jay Jordan deserted the metropolis and their academic jobs, traveling across Europe in search of post-capitalist utopias. They wanted their art activism to no longer be uprooted. They arrived at a place French politicians had declared lost to the republic, otherwise know as the zad (the zone to defend): a messy but extraordinary canvas of commoning, illegally occupying 4,000 acres of wetlands where an international airport was planned.

In 2018, the 40-year-long struggle snatched an incredible victory, defeating the airport expansion project through a powerful cocktail that merged creation and resistance. Fremeaux and Jordan blend rich eyewitness accounts with theory, inspired by a diverse array of approaches, from neo-animism to revolutionary biology, insurrectionary writings and radical art history. Published in collaboration with the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest.