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More-than-human freedom

08. März 2024 

2024 zine conference

Call for sub­mis­sions for the 2024 zine con­fer­ence „More-than-human freedom”
Dead­line: 8 March 2024

Org­an­nized by Lau­ra Andriessen (Assis­tant Lec­tur­er, Uni­ver­si­ty of Ghent) Emelien Devos (PhD Stu­dent, Uni­ver­si­ty of Ghent) Alessan­dro Gugliel­mo (PhD Stu­dent, Uni­ver­si­ty of Milan)

We are delight­ed to share with you our call for sub­mis­sions for a zine-based con­fer­ence on more-than-human free­dom. Inspired by the first zine-based con­fer­ence organ­ised by the Low-Car­bon Research Meth­ods Group, this con­fer­ence aims to bring togeth­er schol­ars and artists to pro­duce and dis­sem­i­nate low-car­bon, free, and acces­si­ble knowl­edge around the capa­bil­i­ty of self-willed ecolo­gies to sus­tain and repro­duce them­selves. The con­fer­ence will be entire­ly held via zine-mak­ing; zines will be col­lect­ed and edit­ed to pro­duce a final doc­u­ment to share with anyone. 

We aim at dis­sem­i­nat­ing cut­ting-edge research on more-than-human free­dom to both a spe­cial­is­tic and a lay pub­lic. Our inten­tion is to democ­ra­tize such knowl­edges in a low-car­bon and acces­si­ble frame, tap­ping into the graph­ic and exper­i­men­tal poten­tial of zines. You don’t need to be a graph­ic design­er or an artist to apply; we wel­come par­tic­i­pants from all skill lev­els and will pro­vide sup­port in craft­ing your zine. Have a look around, get inspired, and hope­ful­ly we’ll wel­come your sub­mis­sion soon! Don’t hes­i­tate to reach out if you have any questions.

Mul­ti­species ethno­g­ra­phers ana­lyzed the expan­sion of indus­tri­al­ized food pro­duc­tion as sep­a­rat­ing organ­isms from their rela­tion­al ecolo­gies and coerc­ing them into max­i­mized pro­duc­tion. Under late capitalism’s growth imper­a­tive, agri­cul­ture has moved towards accel­er­at­ing organ­isms’ growth by remov­ing them from their envi­ron­ment into con­trolled feed­ing and medication[1]. This process not only shapes non-human bod­ies but, accord­ing to sit­u­at­ed knowl­edges among many dif­fer­ent local pop­u­la­tions, it also cre­ates nutri­tion­al­ly and sym­bol­i­cal­ly poor foods, deplet­ing human bod­ies and the very mutu­al­i­ty of eat­ing that con­sti­tutes a local ecology[2]. Yet, these ecolo­gies are sus­tained by these webs of mul­ti­species rela­tions. There­fore, fol­low­ing sci­en­tif­ic and local knowl­edges empha­siz­ing the capac­i­ty of self-willed ecolo­gies to sus­tain themselves[3], and of the self-med­icat­ing and food-select­ing behav­iour of rel­a­tive­ly free organisms4, we pro­pose to approach food sys­tems through the con­cept of more-than-human free­dom. In doing so, we aim to bring togeth­er the focus on food sov­er­eign­ty and a more-than-human per­spec­tive to the organ­isms involved in food cre­ation. Look­ing at an ever-gloomi­er Cap­i­talocene, we rec­og­nize the urgency of dis­cussing more-than-human free­dom and its capac­i­ty to shape and sus­tain local ecolo­gies. We invite visu­al ethno­gra­phies capa­ble of address­ing such issues, and show­ing the mutu­al­i­ty between more-than-human free­dom and the sus­te­nance of local ecologies.

Pos­si­ble themes include:

- ver­nac­u­lar per­spec­tives on non-humans’ skills in car­ing for them­selves and landscapes;
– more-than-human resis­tance to indus­tri­al agri­cul­tur­al control;
– ethno­graph­ic cas­es of social groups aim­ing to work with non-human auton­o­my in agriculture;
– exam­ples on the mutu­al­i­ty of more-than-human rela­tions in local ecolo­gies, and their capac­i­ty to sus­tain themselves

These works will be includ­ed in a zine-styled con­fer­ence, and freely dis­trib­uted in the form of print­ed zines and an online repos­i­to­ry. Inspired by the first zine-styled con­fer­ence orga­nized by The Low-Car­bon Research Meth­ods Group , we aim at dis­sem­i­nat­ing cut­ting-edge research on more-than-human free­dom to both a spe­cial­is­tic and a lay pub­lic. Our inten­tion is to democ­ra­tize such knowl­edges in a low-car­bon, free, and acces­si­ble frame, tap­ping into the graph­ic and exper­i­men­tal poten­tial of zines.

We encour­age sub­mis­sions of a 500-words pitch that describes both the con­tent and format/design of the zine, with bib­li­og­ra­phy and a brief bio­graph­ic intro­duc­tion; sub­mis­sions should be sent via this google form by 8 March 2024. Please take care to describe how you intend for con­tent and zine design to sup­port one anoth­er, as this will be tak­en into account dur­ing the jury process. We aim to pro­vide some sup­port, tuto­ri­als and feed­back for the design part, so please don’t let this hold you back from sub­mit­ting. We’re not look­ing for exclu­sive­ly pro­fes­sion­al-grade design work, but moti­vate par­tic­i­pants to draw inspi­ra­tion from the DIY-aes­thet­ics of zine cul­ture that wel­comes all skill lev­els. To gen­tly encour­age an over­all visu­al con­nec­tion between the final zines, yet leave enough room for exper­i­ment and indi­vid­ual taste, we’ve set some restric­tions on size and colour.

Print and design require­ments for final sub­mis­sions (more detailed instruc­tions will fol­low lat­er in the process)

- Colours: black & white
– Size: 148 x 210 mm (A5, por­trait ori­en­ta­tion), exclud­ing 3mm bleed on every side if needed
– Pages: between 12 and 48 (includ­ing cov­er + backcover)
– Res­o­lu­tion: 300 dpi

For more infor­ma­tion, sub­mit­ting your pitch or fur­ther ques­tions vis­it:

[1] Lan­deck­er, H. (2023). “The Food of Our Food: Med­icat­ed Feed and the Indus­tri­al­iza­tion of Metab­o­lism”, in H. Pax­son (ed.), Eat­ing beside our­selves. Thresh­olds of foods and bod­ies. Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 56–85.
[2] Chao, S. (2021). Eat­ing and Being Eat­en: The Mean­ings of Hunger among Marind. Med­ical Anthro­pol­o­gy, 40(7), 682–697.
[3] Carv­er, Steve, Ian Con­very, Sal­ly Hawkins, Rene Bey­ers, Adam Eagle, Zoltan Kun, Erwin Van Maa­nen, et al. 2021. ‘Guid­ing Prin­ci­ples for Rewil­d­ing’. Con­ser­va­tion Biol­o­gy 35 (6): 1882–93.
[4] Meuret, M., and F. D. Proven­za. 2015. ‘When Art and Sci­ence Meet: Inte­grat­ing Knowl­edge of French Herders with Sci­ence of For­ag­ing Behav­ior’. Range­land Ecol­o­gy & Man­age­ment 68 (1): 1–17.