After Fukushima, a tiny handful of “refuseniks” defied the government’s orders to evacuate a twenty-kilometer zone around the damaged reactors in the region. Rather than relocating to temporary shelters, several refuseniks remained in the zone to care for livestock who had been abandoned, and whose market value had been ruined by exposure to radiation. This essay formulates their defiance as an “art of dying” in order to amplify its potential to undermine resilience as a resource of the biopolitical and nuclear state, and to open up the possibility of a post-capitalist animality within the nuclear ruins.

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