Affections for a Papaya Tree

How belonging is rooted in private property and given credence by Darwinism.

Presentation at EASA 2022 as part of co-convening panel on ethnographies of post-colonial population control.

I will draw on 3 peer reviewed papers from my doctoral fieldwork. This will establish my argument that you can turn places into your belongings by telling stories. Stories that because no one is looking after these places properly, you are justified in taking on the duty of care for them i.e. colonialising someone else and where they live. And that the associated colonial apparatus for doing this has been reanimated in the post-colony of Northern Cyprus. Where inter-national relations pushed for a situation in which post-colonial state actors of an unrecognised country still seek to perform national sovereignty on behalf of their post-colonial populace in an effort to belong in the international order of things. This will provide the context for me to propose that the notion of belonging – or at least belonging in a proper place – transforms affections freely given. Turning them into paternalistic relations of care. And in doing so justifies the transformation of that which is cared for into a belonging. And that the dominant tradition, theory, and study of belonging in our age, the Darwinian tradition of Biology, bolsters this notion. The notion that the very matter of life is by definition enclosed and packaged into private properties – whether your personal biological properties or your land, house, and possessions – and that stability in life proceeds through the inheritance of these properties.

Presentation of paper starts at timestamp 24.05:

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