Ecology is among the words whose meaning has become malleable. In its literal sense, it’s the study of the interaction between beings and their environment. Coined in 1866, it’s a typical product of Victorian thought, specifically the thought that expanded around Darwin’s theories of evolution and sought new ways to separate humanity from the rest of the natural world. A century later it began shifting position, aligning with a different politics as more people became aware of the damage humans have been wreaking on our environment since the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Another fifty years have made its borders blurrier still: it lends itself now to thoughts on ecosystems, genealogies, community, thinking cross-species, and imagining how the biological weaves its way into the technological.
For our Fourth Chapter, Something Other invites considerations of ecologies. Recent events in Mexico, the US and the Caribbean inevitably draw thoughts towards environmental catastrophes: skies crumbling with water, landscapes shifting, edges becoming erased. Climate change has fuelled a rapid and often aggressive extinction and migration, not just of humans, but also of other species, goods, technologies, against a rapid return to territoriality. We think of the communities of care inspired in these times, the need to tend new relationships, with a multiplicity of environments, natural, urban, human.
But ecologies also pertains to cohabitation of ideas, to actions of forecasting, collating, transposing, flowing, and a constellation of associations, collectives and movements that fissure through this political, social, environmental landscape. And there are other thoughts, stretching deeper into time: the slow erosion of language and dialect; the disconnect between words and world and meaning. The passing of knowledge from one generation to the next: what we choose to learn from those who came before, and what we choose to pass on.
We welcome submissions in all formats, including text, image, video, and experiments in between. Our only constraint is our publishing platform (WordPress). We are open to ideas. We are interested in writing that has a critical engagement with the real world, as well as with language as material.
Contributors who are based in or have easy access to London are also invited to perform their submissions at our live event, Reading the Internet, also with the theme On Ecologies. This will take place on Wednesday 8 November at Peckham Pelican, and will be a fundraising event for The Women’s Environmental Network.
Please send submissions to email@example.com by 10am on Monday 16th October. If you have any questions, please get in touch via the same email address.