Queering ecology in TransColombia

The cultural interpretation of biological facts is complicated: genes, organisms, species, biological communities and ecosystems are complex entities built by human societies over the last centuries, but most often without acknowledging the previous millions of years of evolution. In that process we have created the idea of nature as something external, stable, as a gem only waiting for us to become a jewel.

Colombia is betting for a transition towards sustainability, but has to face its dependence on oil, coal and other extractive ways of production, which even include agribusiness and tourism when based just on commercial purposes. The idea of transition is to define a horizon for change, or a threshold to change trajectories, and the discussion goes on how to link or to break ties with the past. The system resists by creating a strong narrative of respecting nature and including it in the green economy project, in a process that may end up freezing it in the territory, even detaching biology from life.

Cultural diversity and social evolution show that identities aren’t stable, and that they are built as a way to reduce its evolutionary and autonomous capacities for change. Therefore we have to be aware of the limits of our heuristic tools to bring meaning to material life. In the middle of total deconstruction and stone-carving of identities there is much to be explored. Political implications emerge behind the end of our idea of environmental stability and require a revision of the living pieces of the world and the ways we use them to assemble novelty adding layers of meaning. A queer perspective of those entities may help us to inject a bit of flexibility into our vision of ecology, to create cultural room for understanding and promoting adaptation, and to shed light on the hidden capacities of life, now including ours, to keep evolving.

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