The University of Arizona

Regions of care: a political ecology of reciprocal materialities

Soren C. Larsen

Abstract


Indigenous "country" or "land" is a region of reciprocities constituted through the relationships and obligations that preserve the continuity of life. It is a "region of care." In picking up and developing this phrase, this article opens a discussion about how regional political ecology can build from the materialist perspectives of contemporary scholarship and Indigenous politics. If, as some materialist scholars have argued, the political field in the Anthropocene is now more than ever an ecology of problems, how might regional political ecology use these perspectives to address the challenges of coexistence among humans, nonhumans, and other things? The article explores how praxis oriented around "regions of care" helps those involved in political-ecological work confront these challenges in an experimental politics that respects and works with nonhuman, material agencies through place-based relationships and networks. In this way, regional political ecology addresses the new environmental politics of the Anthropocene in a way that is attuned to the concerns of the many communities engaged in the challenges of coexistence.


Key words: Anthropocene, Indigenous, materiality, political ecology, region


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v23i1.20187