The “Anthropocene” refers to the era we are currently living in, which is dominated by the human species. The “Anthropocene” is a term invented by Nobel prize winner Paul Crutzen in the year 2000. It indicates that the present era in which we are living is dominated by the human species. Anthrōpos, the Greek word for “human,” has a lasting and negative effect upon the planet.  

The term refers to the present historical condition of the Anthropocene – not a utopian future – that is marked by three interconnecting changes (Braidotti 2022). First, at the social level we witness increasing structural injustices through the unequal distribution of wealth, prosperity, and access to technology. Second, at the environmental level we are confronted with the devastation of species and a decaying planet, struck by climate crisis and new epidemics. And third, at the technological level, the status and condition of the human is being redefined by the life sciences and genomics, neural sciences and robotics, nanotechnologies, the new information technologies and the digital interconnections they afford us. The notion of the Anthropocene is thus connected to advanced capitalism and advanced technologies as the drivers of the ‘Fourth Industrial Age’ (Schwab, 2015). It is also connected to the damages inflicted by the climate crisis, sometimes expressed as fears of the ‘Sixth Extinction’—the potential mass extinction of both human and non-human inhabitants of this planet (Kolbert, 2014). Importantly, in the Anthropocene the human can no longer be regarded as superior to its “other”: the non-human world. 


Braidotti, R. (2022) Posthuman Feminism, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Crutzen, P. and Stoermer, E. (2000) “The ‘Anthropocene’,” Global Change Newsletter, 41: 17-18. 

Kolbert, Elizabeth. 2014. The Sixth Extinction. New York: Henry Holt. 

Schwab, Klaus. 2015. The fourth industrial revolution. Foreign Affairs, 12 December. 

Smelik, A., ‘A Posthuman Turn in Fashion’. In V. Manlow, E. Paulicelli, E. Wissinger (eds) Routledge Companion to Fashion Studies. New York: Routledge, 2021: 57-64.  

A documentary film and website: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, The Anthropocene Project | Film