Towards a third human-plant movement?

Rolsalind Perrez, April 2028, L.P. Billiet (Ed.), New Göteborg Press, 10 p.

Editor’s Note: Many of the facts and references mentioned in this essay appear to be inexact or fabricated. Furthermore, the absence of available information about its author has led some critics to doubt the existence of Rosalind Perrez herself, while certain clues even suggest that this text may have been written prior to 2025.

In this short critical essay, Rosalind Perrez offers an analysis of the sociological and scientific facts that shaped the evolution of the human-plant (H-P) relationship over the last five decades. Proceeding from the intellectual heritage of Denis Koblak and other theoreticians of the second H-P movement, Perrez discusses the succession of paradigms that held sway over this topic since the birth of political ecology in the 1970s up to the recent events of Curitiba in 2023.

During the last decades of the 20th century, plants were the object of numerous analogies and metaphors, most of them coinciding with a personified vision of nature – a mysterious 'other', sometimes seen to be used/dominated, sometimes protected/revered. Perrez identifies this universalizing and dichotomizing conception of the 'green layer' (opposed to the human world) as the main obstacle to the development of more context-based approaches to H-P interactions during that period.

A new turn emerged in 2017, when progress in genomics revealed the plant origin of a large portion of the non-coding human genome, giving rise to the second H-P movement. But the metaphysical revolution predicted by authors like Jin-Ti Karlova never really happened, mainly because – according to Perrez – the debate has been monopolized by an academic elite, confusing the 'intrinsic' with the 'genetic'.

But the story does not end there. Beyond an accurate analysis of the second H-P movement, Rosalind Perrez wants to convince us that the case of the 'hybrids of Curitiba' – a group of workers from the dying Brazilian automotive manufacture industry who opted in concert for decisive stasis, and took the radical decision to transform their metabolism via plant prosthetics – can be seen as a yet-to-be-theorized third H-P movement, one that could bypass the traps of dualism and abstraction that characterized the previous paradigms.

related topics: parn & hpi

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