Online | Workshops

Composting the Shit with Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti

This series of sequenced workshops looks at the spell of separability cast by modernity that bifurcates people and the rest of nature. Informed by this bifurcation, the harm caused by modernity’s promise of progress-at-no-cost is brought to the fore in Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti’s book Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism. Alongside Vanessa, we begin to declutter the mess of modernity, revealing myriad complicities while gaining tools to help rearrange ourselves in relation to modernity’s dying structures and systems.

It is in this rearranging that “hospicing” becomes possible. Through hospice, modernity is put into palliative care and then, finally, to rest. We, as characters in modernity’s story, are guided through a process of transformation and into a new way of being in relation. Or, as Vanessa calls it, we begin composting the shit

We talk in the book about how to compost our shit—both literally and metaphorically. How to stay with what’s difficult and painful without relationships falling apart, without feeling overwhelmed and immobilized, and without demanding a quick fix, or to be rescued from the discomfort… [1]

In this series of workshops, Vanessa will speak about staying with the mess, wading through the clutter, and the paradoxes and contradictions that make themselves comfortable within it, opening up space to learn from what is dying. 


  1. Oliveira Andreotti and Lucia Pietroiusti, Vanessa, and Lucia Pietroiusti. “Hospicing Modernity: A Conversation.” e-flux Journal #139, October 2023. 

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti (she/her) is the author of Hospicing Modernity: Facing humanity's wrongs and the implications for social activism. She is also one of the founders of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Arts/Research Collective and the co-curator of Art-Life Rituals for Radical Tenderness with performance artist Dani d'Emilia. Vanessa is a former Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change and a former David Lam Chair in Critical Multicultural Education. She is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Education of the University of Victoria.