Prasenjit Biswas – Fantasy Constitution of Relation in Ecologies: Crafting Transindividual Ontologies in North-East India

Decolonial and Postcolonial Ecologies: Critical Voices from India A monthly online lecture series

Coming up next: 12 May 2024

5 – 6 pm India Standard Time

1:30 – 2:30 pm Time in Paris

8:30 – 9:30 pm Time in Seoul

Please register at https://forms.gle/wJfF2xK15Z6keD8E8

Prasenjit Biswas (North-Eastern Hill University)

Fantasy Constitution of Relation in Ecologies: Crafting Transindividual Ontologies in North-East India

Abstract

Transindividual ontologies as proposed by distinctive set of thinkers like Graham Harman’s ‘object oriented ontology’ or James Bridle’s ‘planetary intelligence’ or Ben Rawlence’s ‘thinking like a Forest’ present an idea of redistribution of natural commons and property rights over these commons. In terms of planetary intelligence that refuses both objectification and subjectification of nature in order to overcome nothingness of capitalist commodification, it calls for a new ethics and epistemology of treating nature as an end-in-itself and not merely as a means. Indeed both the notions of ‘end’ and ‘means’ undergo a sea change in relation to standing as a knower who needs to bear witness to collapsing nature or recount the memory of a landscape before its shape is negated. Epsitemologically these ways of seeing and relating to nature is a new way of being that would eventually be
transported to vistas of soaring volcanoes and the glassy seas, of say at the borders of Japan and Alaska, as Julia Phillips in her disappearing earth had portrayed. Paul Gruchow had argued that wilderness matters as it can make sacredness of everything else visible in life. Penguin bones that tell us that the ice shelves didn’t regenerate in last ten thousand years, or the ice-loving Dahurian larch or the healing balm of poplar that native Americans use show the last living foundations of stable climate with seasonal cycles and familiar species and all the human knowledge and culture that rest on this foundation is undergoing extraordinary changes. The leaf talks to the wind, the flower talks to the bee and the roots talk to the fungi continuing a broken process of horizontal gene transfer in a space of increased vulnerability and the already dreamt and imagined non-arbitrary fantasy of rights to stewardship and ownership in our Constitutions is an adaptive ability or reactive ability without having the correlative guilt of not remaining responsible to ecosystems that sustain our lives.

On this overwhelming frame of an eroded sense of guilt without being trapped into ‘eternal return of the same’, can we rekindle a creative spirit that would sustain a metaphysical drive for alterity? The landscape of Sub-Himalayan North-east India rising as an accidental geological fault of Brahmaputra basin assume a sentience that cannot be fully grasped without reimaging that birds are still migrating and they are safe in flying, say. Amur Falcon visiting North-East India or Siberian ducks visiting during winter can reconnect us and reinvent us in our commitment to the wild, an ethical commitment. Located in zone four and five of earthquake zones and having a rich biodiversity, the region remains as the last frontier in the chain of capitalist depletion to assuage us of the guilt that the crashing Himalayan glaciers told us. The talk shall explore this new ethical, ontological and epistemological significance of wilderness in the broadest and inclusive sense that might help a new way of being
more than human.


Decolonial and Postcolonial Ecologies: Critical Voices from India A monthly online lecture series

29 February: A. Raghuramaraju (Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati)

21 March: Bhagat Oinam (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

11 April: Aseem Shrivastava (Writer, Teacher, and Ecological Thinker)

2 May: Prasenjit Biswas (North-Eastern Hill University)

18 July: Swarnalatha R (Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

(TBA) August: Ashish Kothari (Environmental Activist)

26 September: Padini Nirmal (Independent Scholar)

3 October: Puja Ghosh (University of Oregon)

All talks take place 5 – 6 pm India Standard Time

12:30 – 1:30 pm Time in Paris / 1:30 – 2:30 pm Summer Time in Paris

8:30 – 9:30 pm Time in Seoul

Please register at https://forms.gle/wJfF2xK15Z6keD8E8

Organized by: Elise Coquereau-Saouma (JNU / FWF), Puja Ghosh (UO) and Michael Stadler (DAAD Lecturer at JNU)


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Daeseung Park (28 avril 2024). Prasenjit Biswas – Fantasy Constitution of Relation in Ecologies: Crafting Transindividual Ontologies in North-East India. Anthropologie décoloniale. Consulté le 14 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://anthropodeco.hypotheses.org/1936


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