Recently, I had the great honour of being part of a two day workshop with Audra Mitchell and a collective of great minds and hearts to consider how we do work with each other, and with those our work is for – both human and more-than-human. The following blog is the culmination of that workshop. It discusses issues of more-than-human communication, plurality, knowledges, experience, (co)creativity, love, trust, power, hatred, violence, and – perhaps most significantly – care.
Ultimately, we talk about ‘lifework’ –
conducting ourselves and our research work in ways that promote, nourish, and emphasis more-than-human life in plural, multiple, complex and dynamic ways.
For me, it is particularly about not constraining or limiting my work to frameworks of suppression, violence, colonialism, or exclusion, but rather allowing my work to be an act of service towards those that I research with and for. Reciprocity, sharing, patience, humility, respect, love, care. This includes towards myself, as an excluded human person and as a researcher.
Lifework is nourishing, something that grows us, together.
Please do read Lifework – Part II (also below) for a full engagement with our collective ideas.
This mural at Macquarie University, by acclaimed Darug artist Leanne Tobin, expresses Darug eel, goanna and other Dreamings that have shaped Wattamattagal Country
Last autumn, I published a short piece – ‘Lifework’ – that reflected on my ongoing journey towards more committed, responsible, meaningful and respectful forms of research. The post provoked some wonderful responses that gave me the opportunity to learn from others’ journeys towards honouring the life of the work they’re engaged in, and of the other beings with whom they learn and create.
On a recent research visit to Darug Country (Australia), on the land of the Wattamattagal/Wallumattagal clan, I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop on the theme of ‘Lifework’ with a talented group of Masters and Doctoral students from Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales. The workshop was jointly hosted by the Environmental Humanities programs at each of these universities…
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