Mr. Wendyl Luna2
2University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
In this paper, I provide a view of Typhoon Yolanda through the lens of Foucauldian archaeology. I argue that considering Yolanda less as a ‘document’ to be deciphered but as a ‘monument’ to be described not only gives a fresh outlook on the devastating super typhoon but also shows that its historico-critical reconstruction is possible. Drawing on Foucault’s notion of archaeology that seeks neither to ‘memorise’ nor impute meaning on documents, such a reconstruction undertakes an ‘archival work’ that describes Yolanda by critiquing whenever possible the relationships between some of its elements—for example, how the displaced, despite being disconnected from their homes, can creatively conduct their lives. The task of the historian-critic, then, is to pay heed to these creative (counter-)conducts undertaken in relation to disaster governance. It is hoped that, with the archaeology of Yolanda, we may not only remember it for the devastating storm surges that claimed thousands of lives but, more importantly, engage with it as that through which we address contemporary issues.
Wendyl Luna is currently undertaking his PhD (Philosophy) at UNSW in Sydney, Australia. His research interests lie primarily in Continental Philosophy, particularly the philosophies of Immanuel Kant and Michel Foucault. His PhD thesis examines Foucault’s reading of Kant.