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Accepted Paper:

Running with Salmon. Life at the limit of extinction  
Paolo Maccagno (University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

The notion of limit shares deep similarities with the one of extinction conceived as space of suffering but also of care. I will discuss these two notions in relation to an ongoing project, Running with Salmon suggesting moving from responsibility towards an ethic of vulnerability and reciprocity.

Paper long abstract:

The notion of limit (author PhD) shares deep similarities with the one of extinction as conceived by Van Dooren. The limit (as the wall of the marathoner shows), rather than being a separating line, is a space with high educational potential, which allows one to become exposed, reorienting us to explore what Deleuze called a life. Van Dooren thinks of extinction not as a singular event which is conventionally understood as the death of the last individual (you can say a line) but as spaces where an entangled way of life is disrupted and disconnected. The notion of extinction/limit as spaces of suffering but also of care can shed new light onto what we mean by life and its relation to death. In my presentation I will discuss the notion of limit in relation to a specific project, Running with Salmon (river Dee - Scotland). By weaving human lines of life with those of salmon through running, this project is an experimental one between art, anthropology and education addressing the limit (wall) of death and the one between us humans and salmon (other animals). It suggests that we don’t rely on moral responsibility to address issues of extinction but rather that these could produce an experience of the limit which existentially would touch ourselves and make us hit bottom in Bateson’s sense. This would hopefully reorient our life forcing us to re-imagine the way in which we live it in search of an ethic of vulnerability and reciprocity.

Panel Exti02a
For an anthropology of the limit I
  Session 1 Wednesday 31 March, 2021, -