The pandemic makes borders legible in new ways. For some, the death counts and interactive maps tracking the global movement of the virus recall the monitoring of sea journeys and charting of refugee movements. For others, the act of crossing borders is made visible anew, as different sorts of bodies are ensnared at airports and surveillance points. These redraw once again the permeable lines between rights and rightlessness, the privileges and limits of citizenship. Different biopolitical permutations are playing out before our eyes from moment to moment.
The question, then, is how to deterritorialise black metal? How do black metal fans and artists open potential lines of flight that can break out of such limitations? Hval offers an escape through art’s occult potential; its ability to alter reality.
This is a political project of wilful ignorance that we as citizens are implicitly asked to co-enact, over and over again. There is a hacking apart of the web of violence – of cause and effect, words and actions, ideas and transgressions – to allow for a successful scapegoating of evil men: dangerous psychopaths whose actions are to be viewed as outliers. In this effort, the Coalition Government leads the charge. In their manufactured reality, the worst kinds of violence against women are heinous, but they are also aberrations.
Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Christchurch, killing 185 people. I last wrote about the city’s rebuild for Overland two years ago, and there has been so little progress that that piece barely needs an update. It might be worth it then to drive deeper into the fundamental mistakes that have led the city to the place it is now, and why the inability of our politicians to address these issues is so utterly infuriating.
This week it’s exactly eighty years since my great-grandmother, Emilie Rau, was murdered in a gas chamber built into the cellar of an asylum in Hadamar, a small town close to Frankfurt. She was forty-nine and had four children, of which my grandmother was the eldest.