Can you talk to me if I just lay here and listen...” A noble plea for help from dying trees

Aktiviteetti: EsitelmäKonferenssiesitelmä


Western lifestyle, rooted in growth-oriented capitalism mindset, often disregards finiteness and death – the cornerstones of all life. The lure of eternal growth’s illusion is present in the acts of profit maximization and force-fed rapidity in the business world, whilst our everyday lives are characterized by a pervasive need to gain more and more (experiences, money, networks...). Instead of bringing comfort, growth-oriented mindset is evidenced to cause anxiety, stress and indisposition. In business terms, the lure of growth can have substantial negative socio-environmental-ethical impacts. One’s success means the death of something/one else. This is the case also in complex plant and animal communities that are not directly interfered by humans. But what makes a difference is the balance. The capitalist society I know exercises routinized killing of many non-human life forms, and re-produces non-human lives to be again killed in the name of progress. To stop this violent cycle, we need help.
In my presentation, I practice queer philosophy by creating hope through death. I will talk about my ongoing feminist new materialist research with dead and dying trees. I suggest that dead and dying trees embody nonhuman wisdom that has the potential to disrupt the lure of growth-illusion. In the era of ecological crisis, instead of relying on anthropocentric imaginaries of wisdom (e.g. technological advancements), we should as well sit and lay down by, and listen to, the dying mentors of our forests. Dead trees embody nonhuman pedagogy. My motivation for this research is driven less by despair than hope. Hope yet means we need to act. Finnish forest policy has led to establishment of many unnatural forest communities, where old trees do not anymore exist or they are rare. Forests are inhabited, through human influence, by armies of fast-growing, younger tree generations that grow to be cut down for capital. In addition, deadwood - a silver-toned tree that has nobly died whilst standing and without hurry - are silently disappearing. Does the humankind understand what heritage of wisdom it is losing? Is it finally time to queer our conceptions of success?
Aikajakso19 marrask. 202020 marrask. 2020
Tapahtuman otsikkoECOFE2020 - Ecofeminism and Education 2020
Tapahtuman tyyppiKonferenssi
Vaikuttavuus / laajuusKansainvälinen