02_ The Beehive

March 6, 2018

02_Mapping_Antonia MyleusHumans supposedly face three phases of extinctions; the sixth great extinction event; the extinction by humans of other species, and self-extinction, or the capacity for us to destroy what makes us human1. Within this tendency of self-destruction of our own milieu, and the carelessness of our environment and organisms that compose it, ‘climate is regarded as a general condition that binds humans to an irreversible and destructive time’2.

The beehives in Skanstull, as aforementioned have been treated with disregard and carelessness in the form of several attempts of vandalism. An exposed wound was created from the destruction, threatening not only the physical beehive from climatic conditions and other non-humans, but also threatening the existence of its gyneocracy. The act of vandalism towards non-human’s ethos and habitat, is an ethical performance that aids both human extinction as well as the extinction of nearby plants and crops. The disappearance of nature not only destroys the symbiotic relationship between flower and bee, but also between bee and human, affecting their possibility to thrive.

Our beehives are now exposed, we are in distress. Nearby plants are destroyed and the earth is scarred. Metal bars leave traces of an act of human self-destruction. Where do we go now? How do we recover?

Looking at the site’s current physical state could give potential clues regarding its past sufferance of extinction. For example; Is the site suffering from perturbation and scarring? Is the site still accessible? ‘If we wish to live on, we need to become aware of time – ecological, geological – beyond our own, paying our due to an existence that we failed to recognise as our own’ (Colebrook, 2014). Mapping nearby plants and allotments and looking if there has been a significant decay of growth due to the disappearance of pollination services could be another way to map the site´s exhaustion.The ‘care’ of environmental milieus shifts from eco-feminism (critiques of masculinism and the concern for the non-human) to thoughts of post-humanism where what actually counts as ‘properly’ human is questioned. Colebrook (2014) further argues that one of the over-riding problems of attention to the human organism’s thorough worldliness suffers from blindness. Explaining this knowing act of human self-extinction from the perspective of the bees, telling their story, caring for their beehive and animal society, could help raise awareness regarding our environmentally exhausted milieus and would challenge us to think beyond our human-made landscapes and ethical actions.

Antonia Myleus

Readings:

  1. Colebrook, Claire. ‘Introduction’ in Claire Colebrook, Death of the PostHuman: Essays on Extinction, vol. 1. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, University of Michigan Library, 2014. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/o/ohp/12329362.0001.001
  2. Colebrook, Claire. ‘Introduction’ in Claire Colebrook, Death of the PostHuman: Essays on Extinction, vol. 1. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, University of Michigan Library, 2014. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/o/ohp/12329362.0001.001

Colebrook, Claire. ‘Feminist Extinction’ in Claire Colebrook, Sex After Life: Essays on Extinction, vol. 2. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, University of Michigan Library, 2014. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/o/ohp/12329363.0001.001

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