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Accepted Paper:

Wilding the City: Untameable roosters, multispecies collaborations and the battle for Jaffa's future  
Daniel Monterescu (Central European University) Yaara Sadetzki (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

We propose the concept of the "wilding city" by examining the relationships between "wild" roosters and humans in order to shed light on the contested processes of more-than-human collaboration and resistance in the gentrifying city.

Paper long abstract:

We propose the concept of the "wilding city" by examining the relationships between "wild" roosters and humans in order to shed light on the contested processes of bottom-up urban conservation and more-than-human commoning in the divided city. In the summer of 2021, following complaints from some Jaffa's Jewish residents about "noise and odour nuisances," the Tel Aviv Municipality distributed leaflets announcing, "a terminal treatment of the wild roosters in yards and public spaces." At the same time, in the wealthy northside of the city, the municipality celebrates "urban nature" conservation projects, according to which "the presence of birds brings animals closer to nature in the bustling city." How does the nonhuman presence in the ethnically "mixed city" map onto the human complexity between Palestinians and Jews, veterans and new residents? While roosters are highly valued in both Judaism and Islam, free-range urban roosters are perceived as transgressors that disrupt regulated social order and unsettle the border between public and private. In the mixed-species and binational city, roosters mediate between languages, temporalities, cultural practices and political identities. Animals engender multispecies collaborations and communal coalitions and highlight growing disparities between rich and poor, Palestinian and Israeli, Ashkenazi and Mizrahi, between city and nature, and between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. In this relational socio-natural setting, the untamed agency of roosters animates non-human (un)commoning that reconfigures the boundaries between the different social groups. In the process roosters become contested citizens and agents of cultural conservation with human allies in the context of Anthropocene transformations.

Panel P101a
Future Commons of the Anthropocene
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -