Rituals of Extinction: Manhunting Games in the British Outdoor Movement, 1890-1914.
Jonathan Weataway (University of Central Lancashire)
Paper short abstract:
Manhunting games performed a type of imperial inversion addressing the question: "What is it like to be a subject people? To be hunted, not the hunter?" This paper asks do we need to perform rituals of our own extinction to provide us with the scaling instrument that generates the global locally?
Paper long abstract:
Manhunting games played in the upland landscapes of northern England emerged within the British outdoor movement at a time of Imperial anxiety about racial fitness to rule. Subject people's ability to defeat imperial powers led to the reassessment of military tactics and new notions of how to move, observe and be concealed within mountain landscapes. These games cultivated an embodied understanding of the imperial dilemma, addressing the question: "What is it like to be a subject people? To be hunted, not the hunter?" They were expressive of a modernity where landscape becomes indispensable to our capacity to know, where new modalities of thinking in movement were explored. They were a response to the totalizing nature of imperialism and are analogous with contemporary dilemmas associated with the emergence of the Anthropocene, not least the problem of asymmetry and scale that Bruno Latour has identified. Latour suggests we need to become attentive to the techniques through which scale is obtained, while lamenting the lack of rituals that will save us from despair. These manhunting games are examined in an attempt to address a contemporary problematic: do we need to perform rituals of our own extinction to provide us with 'the scaling instrument that generates the global locally'?
(Re)scaling the Anthropocene