Littered Bodies: Becoming-with the Urban Wilds
I am an interdisciplinary PhD research student, studying at Goldsmiths, University of London primarily within the department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCs).
My research is practice-based, exploring the happenings of multispecies (or more-than-human) community building through embodied community practices with urban wild spaces in and around Southampton, UK. It is expected to conclude early 2025.
The following is an abstract of my work:
New materialist entanglements and posthuman accounts of more-than-human worlding processes have been paving the way for profound ethico-onto-epistem-ologies based on material intra-connectedness. This has unearthed radical and transformative possibilities, but also prompts us to (re)consider how these do and can manifest in everyday experience and multispecies relationalities. This is particularly relevant in the context of life in the Capitalocene – an epoch characterised by the pervasive presence of relational and material harms and a systemic eradication of multiplicity and difference, that poses an existential threat to all planetary life. This begs the question, how do relationalities with harmful or otherwise ‘undesirable’ bodies manifest, and how should they be navigated? What might our response-abilities be?
I approach this topic in a practice-based approach, exploring practices of multispecies community with(in) a situated local urban wild setting. In particular, I will be inquiring as to how practices of ‘staying with the trouble’ (Haraway, 2016) emerge in relation to bodies traditionally labelled as ‘troublesome’ to respond to the question: What are the relational doings of litter and other ‘undesirables’? Can (and how do) they function as a generative tools for practices of becoming-with in multispecies communities? As part of this process, I will be seeking to understand how mutually affirming and transformational processes of becoming-with might function as a radical praxis that can contribute to alternative response-able ethico-onto-epistem-ologies. By doing so, this research aims to understand the fluid and nomadic boundaries of inclusion in practices of community, and shed light on response-abilities for mutual, more-than-human flourishing in contemporary urban wild settings.