distancing from animate Earth


Much of the problem lies in our systematic distancing from, and eventual refusal to acknowledge the existence of the many voices of animate Earth (Abram, 1996; Berry, 1988, 1999; Harvey, 2006a). Yet while many cultures experience the Earth as animate and communicative (see Abram, 1996; Berry & Tucker, 2006; Harvey, 2006a; 2006b), in Western culture, and school systems, encouragement to hear, acknowledge and research in communication with the voices of the more-than-human-world are rare. (Although not the only place where this communication can occur, outdoor education is sometimes an exception).


Furthermore, within many settings, assumptions about what constitutes work can make 'listening spaces' difficult to access. Increasingly more time spent in front of computers, together with the privileging of the intellect (Gardner, 1999) and a prevalence of disembodied theorizing (Bai, 2009; Payne, 2005b), makes it difficult for communication with non-human Others to occur. On the other hand, increasing acceptance of arts-based inquiry is encouraging (see, for example, Sinner et. al. 2006; see also, http://m1.cust.educ.ubc.ca/Artography/).