A few days ago I had the pleasure to attend this event organised by my university. The two speakers, Donna Haraway and Adele Clarke, do not need any introductions.
I am absolutely not qualified to, nor do I wish to summarise the points made by the two feminists, who were presenting their recently-translated book Making Kin. Not Population (already in my reading list, of course). What I would like to share in this brief post are two reflections that have stayed with me from the event:
- It’s time to move away from human exceptionalism, without denying human specificity. This couldn’t have been said any better, and I think it is also the reason why I started caring so much about Moby-Dick. To my twenty-first-century reader eyes, the novel is precisely about this (among other things).
- We must learn to live in the world, and not off the world. This might seem obvious, but it is clearly not, looking at how humanity is behaving. Again, this made me think of Moby-Dick which, in unsuspected times, when industrial capitalism was just born and nobody had ever heard the phrases “ecological disaster” or “environmental crisis”, already hinted at these issues and asked questions about the sustainability of this economic model.
I wish there were more people like them, willing to engage in a debate on uncomfortable subjects such as population growth, and the link between reproductive justice and specieism. And of course, I wish there were more people who listened and were willing to enter the debate.
Instead, in Italy at the moment apparently our government is very concerned about two other “emergencies”: securing our borders to stop illegal immigration (which is not and never has been a big social issue), and funding police and prisons to “stop criminals”.
This is starting to feel all so hopeless.