We live in a time of social-ecological crisis. Deep problems such as global warming, deforestation and the mass extinction of species pose immense dangers to all life on Earth. Outdated conceptual divisions need to be disrupted, such as the divisions between people and the environment, between cultural heritage and natural heritage, and between social justice and ecological justice.
‘Making Peace with Nature’ imagines and encourages changes in the way that we understand our relationship with the natural world. Extracts from novels and poems by South African writers are paired with South African and international research in the humanities and the sciences. Together, these shine a light on the causes of the social-ecological crisis.
Many South African writers evoke the deep problems that we face. They reimagine the relationship between humanity and nature and engage in a struggle for freedom from systems that treat most of humanity and the entire natural world as nothing more than resources to be exploited. Their work enriches our understanding of the world.
(Fiona Cameron, 2015, ‘Ecologizing Experimentations: A Method and Manifesto for Composing a Post-Humanist Museum’. Published in the book Climate Change and Museum Futures, edited by Fiona Cameron and Brett Neilson.)
(Donna Haraway, 2004, The Haraway Reader, page 2)
(Kaitano Dube, Godwell Nhamo and David Chikodzi, 2021, ‘Rising Sea Level and its Implications on Coastal Tourism Development in Cape Town, South Africa’. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, Volume 33.)
(Jason W. Moore, 2017, ‘The Capitalocene, Part I: On the Nature and Origins of our Ecological Crisis’. Journal of Peasant Studies, Volume 44, Number 3, pages 594 to 630).
(Xuemei Bai, 2018, ‘Six Research Priorities for Cities and Climate Change’. Nature, Volume 555, pages 23 to 25)
(Yi Yang et al., 2020, ‘Restoring Abandoned Farmland to Mitigate Climate Change on a Full Earth’. One Earth, Volume 3, Issue 2, pages 176 to 186)
(Jonathan Cane, 2019, Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld, page 2)
(Thomas Münzer, 1524)
(Lawrence Wilde, 2000, 'The creatures, too, must become free: Marx and the Animal/Human Distinction'. Capital and Class, Volume 24, Issue 3, pages 37 to 53).
(Zachary Donnenfeld, Courtney Crookes and Steve Hedden, 2018, ‘A Delicate Balance: Water Scarcity in South Africa’. Southern Africa Report, 13, pages 1 to 24)
(Joseph Amankwah-Amoah, 2015, ‘Solar Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa’. Thunderbird International Business Review, Volume 57, Number 1, pages 15 to 31)
(Marie-Ange Baudoin, Coleen Vogel, Kirsty Nortje and Myra Naika, 2017, ‘Living with Drought in South Africa: Lessons Learnt from the Recent El Niño Drought Period’. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 23, pages 128-137)
(William Elmendorf, 2008, ‘The Importance of Trees and Nature in Community’. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, Volume 34, Number 3, pages 152 to 156)
(David Lewis-Williams and Sam Challis, 2011, Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushman Rock Art. Page 3)
(John Berger, artist, painter, poet, and Booker Prize-winning novelist)
(Richard Grant, 2018, ‘Do Trees Talk to Each Other?’. Smithsonian Magazine)
(Allison Perrigo, Carina Hoorn and Alexandre Antonelli, 2019, ‘Why Mountains Matter for Biodiversity’. Journal of Biogeography, Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 315 to 325)
(Ivan Turok and Jacqueline Borel-Saladin, 2014, ‘Is Urbanisation in South Africa on a Sustainable Trajectory?’. Development Southern Africa, Volume 31, Number 5, pages 675 to 691)
(Chris Gilili, ‘New Plan to Tackle Marine Pollution’. Mail and Guardian Online: Environment, 18 Jun 2021)