A silent sound: deep listening and connections with non-human beings "through the looking-glass" of a female farmer
Diana De Luca
(University of Perugia)
Paper short abstract:
Based on ethnographic observation in a community focused on ecological lifestyle created by an ecologist female farmer, my paper aims to untie the nexus of female oppression and control of nature, focusing on shared domestic organization and its material practices.
Paper long abstract:
My research focuses on the experience of a female farmer and her material practices to arrange her domestic life and project it to a broader ecological community. Considering that the link between nature and gender is connected with the lifecycle of discrimination, in the field of practice, I describe how she develops a good form of communication with the natural world, such as donkeys, sheep, horses, chickens, flowers, vegetables and how she is carrying out an experiment of a different kind of "society" in everyday life. Therefore - through the practice of organic farming as a self-sufficiency activity and also as a form of resistance - the purpose of this specific project goes beyond the constructivist idea of male/female bodies seen as a product of discourses, instead materiality. My fieldwork has been carried out in the countryside of Umbria (Italy) in a community of volunteer workers which was created by an English woman in 1980. Currently, she is working hard on her project to share an ecological lifestyle and to raise awareness about the attempt of overturning the gender roles as well as the human control on non-human beings, inspired by the philosophy of deep ecology. According to some ecologist thinkers such as Arne Naess and Freya Mathews my position within the anthropological argumentation is to ask where we will find the theoretical point of intersection between environmental change and the perception of gender inequalities, through the case study of organic farming interpreted as the looking-glass of a female body.
Gender and environmental change. Taking stock and looking into the future