(Photo: Edie Steiner, Artificial Flower, 2002)
As we discussed in part one of this two part series, melancholy and mourning permeate environmental thought and colour the way that we approach activism. In this episode, our focus shifts from the history of melancholy and mourning to specific examples of mourning in environmental and social justice activism. We search for ways that we might begin to engage in forms of resistant mourning that “worry the wound” in a more respectful, ethical, and productive way. How might mourning become part of an environmental activism that doesn’t busy itself with looking from one lost nature to the next, but instead both acknowledges loss and demands that we take the time and do the work required to move through those losses? Featuring Ralph Carl Wushke, United Church of Canada minister and Chaplin and PhD student at the University of Toronto, Ella Soper, part-time faculty at the University of Toronto and post-doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University, and Honor Ford Smith, professor at FES we continue our conversations with Cate Sandilands, Peter Timmerman, and Susan Moore from FES about the importance of mourning for environmental thought and activism. We ask: how can mourning be political? What can resistant mourning look like for environmentalists? What is the role of writers, poets, and artists in mourning environmental loss?