Childhood Ecological Encounters and Micro-practices in the New Climatic Regime

Authors: Ria Dunkley*, University of Glasgow
Topics: Social Geography, Anthropocene, Cultural Geography
Keywords: new climatic regime; Latour; ecopedagogy; childhood; ecological encounters
Session Type: Paper
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The ‘new climatic regime’ Latour (2018) argues, requires us to come back down to earth. Landing sites must be identified and the tools needed to address current ecological and climate crisis gathered. A key element of this endeavour, Latour (2019) argues will be the telling of new geo-stories and sensorial attentiveness to our ecological surroundings. Such attentiveness may be a means of bringing into being alternative futures, through experiences that provide space-time for the rehearsal (Back 2019) of post-carbon lifestyles. This paper considers childhood involvement in an environmental award scheme focused on ‘wild places’, as a means of this returning to earth, through multi-sensorial activities within both a national park landscape and local school grounds. It seeks to reveal how exposure to ecological praxes might provide space-times for ecological conscientisation (Dunkley and Smith, 2019). Childhood interspecies encounters through cultivation and conservation will be explored and the implications of these encounters for children’s present and future responses to the climate emergency will be discussed.

References:
Back, L. (2019) Antipode Lecture: Blind Pessimism and Worldly Hopes, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019, London, UK, 29 August.

Dunkley, R. A., & Smith, T. A. (2019). By-standing memories of curious observations: children’s storied landscapes of ecological encounter. Cultural Geographies, 26(1), 89–107. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474018792652

Latour, B. (2018). Down to Earth: Politics in the new climatic regime. Cambridge: Polity Press.

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