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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Posthuman memory and the re(f)use economy
Author(s): Ezra, Elizabeth
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Keywords: commodity culture
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Date Deposited: 31-Aug-2016
Citation: Ezra E (2014) Posthuman memory and the re(f)use economy. French Cultural Studies, 25 (3-4), pp. 378-386.
Abstract: Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2009 filmMicmacs à tire-larigot, a scathing critique of the global arms industry, depicts a ragtag bunch of misfits who live beneath a refuse dump and give a new lease of life to discarded objects, endowing them with what might be called ‘reuse value’. Unlike exchange value, which obscures the past labour that produced the commodity, reuse value enfolds history into an object, reflecting the past use to which it was put, and making of it an exteriorized, prostheticised form of human memory. Reused objects signify two eras at once: that in which they were manufactured (thus the African ethnographer’s antique typewriter evokes the colonial past), and the era in which they are being reused (the not-so-postcolonial present). Coextensive with this animation of disused objects through their endowment with memory is the reification of human beings, who become reduced to an assemblage of inanimate objects as they are alternately blown up in dirty wars or collected by a wealthy arms manufacturer in the form of celebrity body parts. The double-edged nature of the re(f)use economy, which both privileges resistance and underlines the posthuman dissolution of the boundaries between people and objects, points up the pharmacological dimension (at once destructive and potentially positive) of globalisation.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0957155814543891
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in French Cultural Studies August/November 2014 vol. 25 no. 3-4 378-386 by SAGE. The original publication is available at:

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