The Anthropocene Project. An Encyclopedia
King of poison or poison of kings? Arsenic, colorless and odorless, a chemical element and until the 19th century an equally reliable and scarcely traceable lethal poison, today primarily a byproduct of copper mining or fertilizers, a result of the Anthropocene’s metabolism. From the hombres verdes, the green people of the Atacama Desert, to polluted well water in Bangladesh, land struggles and political activism in Indonesia, a trail of arsenic can be traced all across the globe from the global North to the South of our planet (environmental crime). If in the 19th century it was debatable whether arsenic in carpets and fabrics occasionally caused a death in the household—Napoleon being one of the most famous cases—today we can look at the global “household” and ask who poisoned whom, at what time and for what reason. Pushing law towards politics, as the exhibition Forensis suggested in the framework of the Anthropocene Project.