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bird amongst pink flowers - still from Amy Cutler's film

The Labour of Nature

About this event

A Radar event organised with support from the Gender and Identities Research Theme at Loughborough University.

Through film, a reading and conversation, this event will explore, unpick and reconfigure the entanglements between nature, labour and gender.

Taking as its starting point the contention that there is nothing ‘natural’ about nature, it will consider how nature and gender are produced by narrative, labour and struggle.

Crucially, it will consider how this might be done differently: how we can tell stories that are richly ecological but deeply technological; and how these alternative ecological understandings pose opportunities and problems for remaking our world. 

The event will open with a screening of Amy Cutler’s short film All Her Beautiful Green Remains In Tears. This consists of re-edited footage from Walt Disney's Nature's Half Acre (1951), with its sexist parables about domesticated post-war suburbia: nest building, chick rearing, mother love, industrious insects, and traditional gender roles. The film is soundtracked by the musician Leafcutter John, who specialises in creating natural landscapes and ecologies from generated noise, often using DIY gadgets.

Following this, Sophie Lewis will read a new piece expanding on themes presented in her book, Full Surrogacy Now (Verso, 2019). She will consider the politics of water and the ‘bio-bag,’ in which scientists are “automatically gestating” sheep foetuses. 

Amy Cutler is an artist, cultural geographer, curator, writer, and film-maker who works with ideas of geography and nonhuman others.

Sophie Lewis is a writer, translator and feminist geographer living in Philadelphia. Her book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family is published by Verso on the 7th May. She is a member of the Out of the Woods collective, whose first book is to be published by Common Notions in 2019, an editor at Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry, and a queer feminist committed to cyborg ecology and anti-fascism. 

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David Bell
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