Between Us and Nature #28 – Ecological Grief – Hope in (Hi)Stories

Reading Ghost Forests and Other Ruined Landscapes

How not to surrender to grief?

Around one and a half years ago, reading Rebecca Solnit’s guide to changing the world, we learned that social and ecological activism can give ‘Hope in the Dark’.

Around five months ago, burning forests in Brazil and Bolivia took us to the Yanomani worldview wondering about their value of growth ‘në rope’.

Today, borderless fires are asphyxiating our hopes.

In the first session of 2020, the Reading Club becomes our ritual to hold and share our feelings of loss. Let’s continue practicing worldviews reading together stories “of encounters between humans, plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and soils.”1

Finally we have the courage to flip to the ‘Ghosts of the Anthropocene’ side of the ‘Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet‘ anthology, which is asking:

“What kinds of human disturbances can life on Earth bear?”2

“We must share space with the ghostly contours of a stone, the radioactivity of a fingerprint, the eggs of a horseshoe crab, a wild bat pollinator, an absent wildflower in a meadow, a lichen on a tombstone […]. It is these shared spaces, or what we call haunted landscapes, that relentlessly trouble the narratives of Progress, and urges us to radically imagine worlds that are possible because they are already here.”2


In ‘Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club’ we read texts together related to natural sciences, art, anthropology, postcolonialism, and (post)anthropocene, chosen from a female perspective looking beyond disciplines.

Those who would like to attend the reading session, please rsvp via email until the 21st of January to betweenusnature@gmail.com​, and you’ll receive a selection of texts.

At this reading group we will read passages together out loud and share our experiences and thoughts about the nature we live in, what it means to us, and will discuss different ways of engaging with the world we inhabit.

PLEASE NOTE: IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABILITY WE WILL NOT PRINT OUT THE TEXT.
BRING YOUR COPY ON A DIGITAL DEVICE OF YOUR CHOICE OR PRINTED OUT! :-)

Come and join us with an open mind here:
What:​ The Reading Club is in English language
Who:​ small group of lovely, people who would like to meet you (rsvp only, not suitable for children)
Why:​ to read together, be inspired and meet people
Note: ​Bring your copy of the text as print out or on a digital device
Hosts:​ Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky, artist, and Sina Ribak, researcher for ecologies and the arts

1) Andrew S. Mathews ‘Ghostly Forms and Forest Histories’ IN: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet – Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, Nils Bubandt (Eds.), 2017, University of Minnesota Press.

2) Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet – Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, Nils Bubandt (Eds.), 2017, University of Minnesota Press.Weniger anzeigen