“(…) the ability to mourn for the loss of other species is, in this sense, an expression of our sense of participation in and responsibility for the whole fabric of life of which we are a part.”
In the Anthropocene, death and loss become pressing environmental concerns. Destruction of ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and slow environmental violence evoke feelings of anxiety and grief, manifested in science and popular-scientific communication, art, theory and environmental activism. Recognising commonly unacknowledged grief and asking ourselves what it is that we mourn may help us understand our relations to the environment, and what we choose to value, preserve or revive.
Theoretically grounded in the transdisciplinary field of Queer Death Studies, this talk explores crisis imaginaries linked to more-than-human death, dying and extinction (both material and figurative), as well as questions of eco-grief, which the former are inherently entwined with. This is done through a close dialogue with select contemporary bio-, eco-and media artworks that mobilise and – at times – subvert the notions of and mourning the more-than-human.
Marietta Radomska, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Linköping University; director of The Eco- and Bioart Lab; co-founder of Queer Death Studies Network, and member of The Posthumanities Hub. She works at the intersection of posthumanities, environmental humanities, continental philosophy, queer death studies, visual culture and contemporary art; is a co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Queer Death Studies (forthcoming 2025); and has published in Australian Feminist Studies; Somatechnics; Environment and Planning E and Artnodes, among others.
In collaboration with Mad House Helsinki.