Bodies of belonging

Blog #3 accompanying our Landscape Symposium 2019

This short blog series by Vanessa Lastrucci accompanies our Landscape Symposium 2019, entitled Staying with the trouble: critical and creative approaches to the climate and biodiversity crises.

Work by artist Ilana Halperin, discussed during the Symposium © Ilana Halperin

Stay here, be here.

My body’s feeling when I relentlessly return to it. A body of breathless warmth and flickering blue. A body as wide as a continent and as welcoming as a placenta, a body that holds peoples together.

I also uttered it aloud once: far just enough from the edges, where the bottom fades in turquoises and browns. Here only is where I am.

Now, I will not take you there, as there is who I am: where and when I have full potential of my mind-body continuum and capacity to move through all dimensions, within a body-medium I cannot control. I am one with this body. I share this body with many.

We all have bodies we return to merge with. And as they change, we change. As they get poorly, we get poorer. As we get violent, they get violent. In what body do you find yourself embodied?

Like the geographical bodies we project ourselves into, we have now to learn with our own bodies how to adjust to a crisis that we triggered, and that is outpacing faster than ourselves, so much faster than those bodies we cannot control, faster than time itself. With the Anthropocene, or however you want to call it, we have achieved one-directional time travel, while barely noticing.

When we project into the geographical bodies we belong to, and they become our extended minds, moving from the Rights of Humans to the Rights of Nature is seamless and sound.

These geographical bodies of our selves also have the likeness of the body of citizens and denizens. They are bodies of culture and custom in as much as they are bodies of ritual and nature. They are extended mind-body continuums.

Why should not I have rights when I am these bodies? Why should these bodies not be allowed the pursuit of evolving well?

My extended mind that I share with many tells us that it does not want and does not need human rights. Personhood and human likeness are distinct. It speaks and calls for its own right though, as well as other living things’. A right to indivisibility, interrelationship, interdependency: our right to return within its body.

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