By Sayak Valencia & Translated by John Pluecker
Written by the Tijuana activist intellectual Sayak Valencia, Gore Capitalism is a crucial essay that posits a decolonial, feminist philosophical approach to the outbreak of violence in Mexico and, more broadly, across the global regions of the Third World… In a lucid and transgressive voice, Valencia unravels the workings of the politics of death in the context of contemporary networks of hyper-consumption, the ups and downs of capital markets, drug trafficking, narcopower, and the impunity of the neoliberal state.
Coming out of my translation of the book, Sayak Valencia and I have been in an on-going dialogue that has morphed into performance and public talks. In 2019 in Frankfurt, Valencia presented her book at the Symposium On Violence in Frankfurt, Germany at the Museum MMK Für Moderne Kunst. At this event, she asked me to record an excerpt from the book; instead of reading, she played the recording and then continued her presentation. Here is the recording from that event:
After Sayak’s performance in Germany, I was left thinking about what she/we had done, and we discussed it over Whatsapp voice messages. I brought some of this thinking to the public in a talk at Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, March 30, 2019 during a panel sponsored by the American Literary Translators Association and entitled "Embodying Writing / Performing Translation" with Gabrielle Civil, Sawako Nakayasu and Urayoán Noel. The panel was not filmed, but I wanted there to be some record of what we had done, so I re-performed it at my home in Houston on April 7, 2019. Here is that talk: