Walls and human exceptionalism

Paper


Judith, Kate. 2018. "Walls and human exceptionalism." Space Race Bodies III: Walls. Dunedin, New Zealand 30 Jun - 01 Jul 2018 Dunedin, New Zealand.
Paper/Presentation Title

Walls and human exceptionalism

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorJudith, Kate
Number of Pages1
Year2018
Place of PublicationDunedin, New Zealand
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttps://www.spaceracebodies3.com/
Conference/EventSpace Race Bodies III: Walls
Event Details
Space Race Bodies III: Walls
Event Date
30 Jun 2018 to end of 01 Jul 2018
Event Location
Dunedin, New Zealand
Event Venue
University of Otago
Abstract

This paper investigates walls as mechanisms for constructing and sustaining human exceptionalism. The excluded other being considered here is non-human. Walls destroy and constrain opportunities for non-humans as assertively as they do for excluded humans. Building walls is hugely environmentally destructive, and walls dramatically impede the movement and fragment the living space of many non-humans. At a more fundamental level, walls create and perpetuate an entire geography based upon the assumption that the ongoing comfort, security and convenience of particular privileged humans justify the reshaping of the world to their advantage and to the exclusion or impediment of almost all others.

Territorial negotiations take many diverse forms; communication, aggression and submission, ritual, cooperation, bargaining, all these are foreclosed by a wall. The power-based territorial claims that walls impose come to be taken as righteous or prior, because they are embedded in the physical landscape itself and confirmed within the landscape of human social and legal conventions. Their radical boundary-staking enables human judgements to focus upon interactions within human society, and to turn away from interconnectedness with what can become construed as a simplified outside. The mangrove communities of Sydney will be invited to contribute their alternative approaches to negotiating boundaries.

Keywordswalls, human exceptionalism
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500304. Environmental philosophy
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Byline AffiliationsOpen Access College
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q4yww/walls-and-human-exceptionalism

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