What the Cassowary Does Not Need to Know

EPA Queensland Government
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Catalogue Essay, Habitus- Habitat Art & Environment Program reprinted in Australian Humanities Review (online), 2006, 39-40 (September), pp. 1 - 7
Issue Date:
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Imagine Nature divided from Culture by an official barrier, like a state border. This is a metaphor, certainly, but the division between the two concepts is nevertheless real enough, and with real political effects. The aim of this essay is to reorganise the two concepts so that the barrier becomes more permeable, and so we are not bogged down in the kind of politics it allows. Why the state border between Nature and Culture? Why this particular inflection? Because everything that is official, institutional and corporate insists on this separation between Culture, where people live, and Nature, which is there for people to exploit. There is only one thinker who has been bold enough and smart enough to really challenge this separation, the French philosopher and social scientist Bruno Latour.2 But he is not against institutions, not at all, nor am I; just the way they are currently organised.
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