Affective Anthropocene: The Geographical Imagination of Far Far Away

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The anthropocene as an ecological crisis caused by developmentalism and other anthropogenic processes requires an opening up of an alternative future that inspires hope without easy optimism. This paper argues that the geographical imagination of Amos Why’s 2021 romantic comedy Far Far Away creates an ‘affective mapping’ in the sense used by Johnathan Flatley to refer to a fictional framework that allows audiences to suspend their usual experience and to experiment with an alternative affective setting. Moreover, it will be argued that Far Far Away can be usefully understood with reference to Brian Missumi’s idea that affectivity, in the Spinozist sense of ‘what [a body] can do as it goes along’, can create an ‘openness of situations’, an ‘margin of manoeuvrability’, a ‘sense of vitality or vivacity’, and an awareness of how ‘we inhabit uncertainty, together’. Far Far Away will be considered as a light-hearted but serious attempt to respond to the dominant and exclusivist use of space in Hong Kong, dictated as it is both by the logic of capital and the consequences of internal colonialism. In particular, it will be argued that Far Far Away seeks to counteract these anthropogenic forces not by creating utopian or apocalyptic scenarios, but by using film as cartography to provide an affective experience for the spectator as both voyager and dweller of lived and heterotopic spaces. As a cartographic film, Far Far Away shows not only inhabited places but also characters in search of habitable places, and in doing so suggests a sense of self as being shifting and unbounded. This affective, exploratory experience of environment offers a sense of agency that is reflective, anticipatory, and responsive to the uncertainty of the anthropocene without being moralistic or falsely optimistic.


SymposiumInternational Symposium on “Affective Anthropocene: Contextualizing Feelings and Environments under Climate Change”
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address


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