Mittwoch, 08. Mrz 2017, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Wednesday Seminar

Embodying Climate Change: Some thoughts from Amazonia

Aníbal Arregui

Universitätsstraße 7 (NIG); 4. Stock, 1010 Wien


Is it possible to produce meaningful translations between different perspectives on ‘climate change’? What kind of translative obstacles pose the so-called ‘radical’ or ‘ontological’ differences to anthropologists that explore global processes of environmental degradation? In this seminar, I will address such questions by focusing on an ecopolitical approximation, namely that of a Brazilian climatologist and a Yanomami shaman who are translating their concerns about the Amazonian rainforest in order to reach the audiences they respectively represent. The example shows that the shaman’s and the scientist’s connective gestures do not undo their translative ‘equivocations’ (Viveiros the Castro 2004), but they do highlight some innovative forms of expressing a common concern about the rainforest. More specifically, it will be highlighted how the particular biographies and bodies of these two spokespersons become the loci of what I term ‘ecopolitical mimicries’: a translative experiment where relational modes such as ‘naturalism’ and ‘perspectivism’ disclose not only differences and equivocations, but also embodied forms of co-implication. The example aims at providing a provocative impulse for discussing, with other participants of the seminar, some analytical strategies to remain committed to both anthropological differences and the need of ecopolitically connected strategies against an environmental collapse that threatens human life on a planetary scale.



Aníbal Arregui currently is lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna.

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Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Tabitha Schnoeller
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie