This chapter explores the concept of performance, or performativity, following the influence of Judith Butler's work on cultural geographies of nature. It describes how human and non-human identities are enacted and thus constituted within the representations, spaces and relations of everyday life. Performance has been central to the critique of ideas about nature as the opposite of human identity and society. As a result nature can no longer be naively thought of as an essentially given organic or inorganic sphere that resides beyond the reach of cultural processes and activities. The notion of performative resistance is considered in relation to spaces and practices that subvert human centred thinking and actions that imply denying, exploitative or nostalgic relations with nature. In addition, the embodied practice of becoming more than human subjects is explored through the use of theorists such as Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault and Nietzsche. Moving beyond nature/culture oppositions also involves thinking through the in-between spaces and multiplicity of relations that constitute hybrid identities. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the shift towards performative ethical relations that seek to refigure the boundaries of human and non-human nature via geographies of hope.
International Encyclopedia of Human Geography
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Social and Cultural Geography