Associate, Assemble, Aid: a (re)configuration of human-human and human-nonhuman

Since I can remember I have been trying to understand how humans relate to the other animals they encounter. As a child I remember being baffled as to how people could claim to “love all animals”, but being shocked at my parents who would take immediate direct action whenever witnessing animals being abused.

I also remember reading the books of Attenborough and Durrell as they went around the world capturing animals to bring back to England for entertainment. I remember endless hours of playing with ant lions, ants and beetles and learning how easily I could simplify their individual behaviour. I remember volunteering after school in a veterinary surgery.

I remember volunteering for half a decade on a turtle conservation project. I remember studying embryology and epigenetics in a lecture theatre named after a founder of eugenics where he himself taught. I remember berating many speakers there.

I remember studying anthropology and doing fieldwork with fisherfolk and hunters. I remember getting into the archaeology of human-animal relations. I remember getting lost in water management and progressive farming. I remember many other episodes and stories amidst them.

This is a series of notes on different topics from these moments that inform a theory-practice to help me and my fellow alienated people. To help us move on from the cosmology of perchance-police-pedigree to exploring associate-assemble-aid. This is all a work in progress. The current step is transferring my personal notes from various places into something a bit more organised, toward the aim of an assemblage ‘video book’.

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