Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Anthropology

Project Advisor 1

Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria

Abstract/Artist's Statement

When we say Mother Earth, we refer to a feminine caregiver. Someone who loves us unconditionally, no matter what sins we commit against her. Her strength is her endurance, not her persistence. What we like from her is her beauty, but we detest when she fights control and throws a tornado into our lawn. She is beautiful when calm, and passive and terrible when emotional and violent. Yet, we are not subservient to this mother, we continuously take, dominate, and never give back. Calling the earth our mother is not empowering for women. It only re-enforces the presumed ¨nature¨ of women: to be dominated. Mother Earth does need to be cared for, she is not a victim. If we accept that ¨Mother Earth¨ does not exist, then we accept our role as part of the earth. This project is a way of exploring the various Mother Earths that exist simultaneously in order to see a more inclusive environmentalism. This kind of seeing is rich and contextual. Eyes act as an external filter for the internal. True sight is digested. Seeing is visceral. Seeing enacts a reflexive worldview. For, it is not only the unearthing of these stereotyped visuals that is profound but also the location of the self as part of it. Instead of just seeing outside towards what everyone else is doing, the kind of seeing that I hope to implore is of self-recognition. It feels as though we are coming upon an environmental precipice of either degradation or regeneration. Nature has to be real in order for degradation to cease. However, the savior mentality of the West has rendered similar results to its industrial counterparts precisely because it is concerned with management rather than embeddedness. In order to have a politics of community there must first be an understanding of our own stereotypes of nature. These stereotypes take their cues from their human origins. This project is an attempt to see the particularly human stereotypes which are implicit in Mother Earth in order to reveal their rich underbelly. My hope in showing the gendered natures of Mother Earth is that we can move beyond analysis to a breakdown of both nature and gender.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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