[Above artwork by Tsuruko Yamakazi]
Michelle Kuo: What’s interesting, too, is the entire notion of rupture. As historians or cultural critics, we’re always taught that rupture is good and continuity is bad. It’s still a reaction against [Leopold von] Ranke’s narrative version of history. In other words, continuity is seen as a reactionary way of looking at history. But you’re obviously interested in posing a more sweeping, long-range history or theory of history. Why did you choose to do so?
David Graeber: As an activist it strikes me that some of the most radical, most revolutionary movements today base themselves in indigenous communities, which are communities that see themselves as traditionalists but think of tradition itself as a potentially radical thing. So the deeper the roots you have, the more challenging things you can do with them.