Should we give things, such as nature, a voice in the political debate? French philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour first developed this innovative idea to politicize ecology in the early nineties. Nature has a democratic voice, he claims. Come and hear how this thought should lead to a different way of dealing with everything that is not human.
We live in a new climate regime according to Bruno Latour, one in which the influence of humans on nature determines everything and in which we make endless connections with the natural world. In this so-called Anthropocene, humans, animals, plants, and things are inseparable from each other. Because of this we need to give everything that is non-human a voice. This voice can be heard in a role-playing game in the Parliament of Things. Listening could help us to preserve nature for future generations.
Latour’s idea of a Parliament of Things has resonated: the Whanganui river in New Zealand has been granted the same legal status as a human, and in The Netherlands, the Embassy of the North Sea has been founded to investigate whether we could give the things, plants, animals, and humans in and around the North Sea a political voice. What does it mean to let non-humans vote in politics? How much does this ask of our empathy and imagination? And is there room in our political reality for these kinds of role-playing games?
After his lecture Bruno Latour will participate in a discussion with philosopher Arjen Kleinherenbrink.
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