Potent places: Embodied Memory in Cambodia | By Anne Guillou. Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia

A land connection reflects a key importance in many aspects of social life. It follows that in Cambodia, collective memories are not always national, but

Source: Potent places: Embodied Memory in Cambodia | Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia

Societies and Environments in Southeast Asia

This blog aims to discuss the relationship between Southeast Asian societies and the natural environment using an anthropological approach and considering contemporary socio-political challenges.
Using a holistic and comparative approach, this seminar hopes to intertwine academic knowledge with environmental risk management.
In light of Philippe Descola’s inspiring work Beyond Nature and Culture , the seminar’s first approach would be to ask ourselves how each of the various societies of Southeast Asia articulates or manipulates the concepts of “nature” and “culture” developed by the West. What are their vernacular equivalents? How are these concepts locally re-appropriated and politically invested within modern nation-states? And, finally, how may we understand the diversity of modes of interaction between humans and non-humans — gods, plants, animals, spirits — in the context of Southeast Asia?
The second approach, which complements the first, would consist of examining how the relationships between society and the environment are reformulated and reshaped under the impact of development practices and policies of adaptation to contemporary environmental challenges — global warming, deforestation, ecosystem preservation, and energy resource and environmental risk management.
Our proposal consists of articulating these approaches through the study of three complementary areas of research:

1.    Buddhism and Environment
The deeply embedded “holistic” view of “nature” in the Hindu-Buddhist societies of Southeast Asia emphasises the relationship between all the beings that inhabit the cosmos. This concept of a “chain of beings” — all of whom are different, interdependent, and hierarchically ordered — calls into questions the methods implemented to ensure harmony between very diverse entities and to constantly readjust the relationships between territorialised social microcosms and the more encompassing macrocosmic order. Our proposal is to explore the forms that connect the social to the cosmic order through practices as diverse as astrology, possession, shamanism, agricultural and royal rituals, architecture, etc.

2.    The Politics of Nature
Another area that would need to be explored is the relationship between nature and politics. This issue would be studied through the review of economic and environmental projects that  are the subjects of local controversy, the “haze” and other forms of pollution, “national parks”, real estate law, dams construction, in order to better understand how the environment issue invites itself and unfolds in the political arena. This line of research would also seek to explore various forms of technical and social innovations designed to change behaviour in production, consumption and trade. It would also look at how development practices and research innovations can mobilise, confront or hybridise different knowledge systems and actions on nature: hard science, traditional knowledge, digital technology, etc.

3.    Climate Risk Management
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most exposed regions in terms of climate change — decreased river flow of large basins, increased flooding from rivers or the sea — and natural disasters — typhoons, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis. This line of research would aim to explore local reactions and responses to these natural changes, as well as the various policies and projects put in place to prevent environmental risk or to deal with the consequences  thereof (displacement, seismic construction).

Descola in English – Books and interviews

 

Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture [2005], Translated by Janet Lloyd
Foreword by Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago Press, 2013, 488 pages, See Report on the book “Philippe Descola’s Beyond Nature and Culture”, Somatosphere.

Descola, Philippe. “Anthropology of Nature”, Inaugural lecture delivered on Thursday 29 March 2001.”March 2001

Descola, Philippe et Palsson, Gísli. Nature and society: anthropological perspectives. Taylor & Francis, 1996.

Descola, Philippe. The spears of twilight: life and death in the Amazon jungle. HarperCollins, 1996.

BIOGRAPHY

“Philippe Descola Biography.” Collège de France.

“Philippe Descola.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, April 7, 2016.

Dialogues

Philippe Descola and Edouardo Kohn
Kohn, Eduardo (2009). “A Conversation with Philippe Descola,”
Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America: Vol. 7: Iss. 2, Article 1.

Descola, Philippe. “All Too Human (Still): A Comment on Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think.HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4, no. 2 (October 31, 2014): 267–73.

Philippe Descola and Bruno Latour

Nora Azouz. Conversation between Philippe Descola and Bruno Latour at MOA – Vancouver, 2014. video

Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Approaches to the Anthropocene: A Conversation with Philippe Descola and Bruno Latour, 2013. video

Videos – Lectures and interviews

Lanscape Forms – Lessons at College de France

Nachwuchsnetzwerk CLAS. Philippe Descola: All Kinds of Animals. CLAS-Summerschool, 2012. video

Lecture by Philippe Descola, Part 1 of 2 at the Friday Seminar, Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge, chaired by Stephen Hugh-Jones. 13th February 2004. video

Frobenius Institut. Lessons in the Anthropology of Nature I / Philippe Descola, 2010. video

“An Interview with Philippe Descola” video

 

The Ratchaprasong Art Maze – Urban by Nature

Nature will spill from the minds of top Thai contemporary artists and into six innovative, site-specific installations to be discovered for an entire month along a skywalk in the heart of Bangkok.

From Oct. 13 through Nov. 13, art will leap out of the gallery and into the public sphere for the enjoyment of all at the Ratchaprasong.

Six artists – Sakarin Krue-On, Montri Toemsombat, Haritorn Akarapat, Ruangsak Anuwatwimon, Noraset Vaisayakul and Sophie Kao Arya – will transform the skywalk between the BTS Chitlom station and Central World with their interpretations of nature in an urban space for this celebration of Thai creativity.

The Art Maze 2016, Urban by Nature was conceived and curated by Myrtille Tibayrenc, director of the Toot Yung Gallery and co-director of the Bukruk Urban Arts Festival.

You’re cordially invited to the opening event on October 13that 2nd fl of Gaysorn plaza. And installations are on view until Nov 13th @ Skywalk Ratchaprasong

ตลอดทางเดินที่เร่งรีบ เราจะเดินให้ช้าลงเข้าสู่ยานพาหนะแห่งอนาคตจากไผ่สาน ผืนป่าแห่งดิน ศักดิ์สิทธิ์ และทุ่งดอกไม้ที่ลอยล่องอย่างดงดงาม

ธรรมชาติถูกถ่ายทอดเรื่องราวผ่านศิลปะการจัดวางสัมพันธ์กับพื้นที่ใจกลางกรุงเทพฯ ตลอดทางเดิน BTS skywalk ทั้งหมด 6 จุด โดยศิลปินร่วมสมัยชั้นนำของไทย 6 ท่าน ตลอด 1 เดือนเต็ม ตั้งแต่ 13 ตุลาคม ถึง 13 พฤศจิกายน ศิลปะจะแอบหนีออกมาจากแกลอรีเพื่อมาร่วมสนุกด้วยกัน ณ ราชประสงค์ I ศิลปินทั้งหมด 6 ท่าน ประกอบด้วย สาครินทร์ เครืออ่อน มนตรี เติมสมบัติ หริธร อัครพัฒน์ เรืองศักดิ์ อนุวัตรวิมล นรเศรษฐ์ ไวศยกุล และ Sophie Kao Arya จะเปลี่ยน BTS Skywalk ระหว่างสถานทีชิดลมจนถึงเซ็นทรัล เวิลด์ ให้เป็นงานเฉลิมฉลองความสร้างสรรค์ของไทยผ่านการตีความ ธรรมชาติในบริบทของเมืองใหญ่

The Ratchaprasong Art Maze จัดขึ้นทุกปีโดยสมาคมผู้ประกอบวิสาหกิจในย่านราชประสงค์ และ ได้รับการสนับสนุนจากการท่องเที่ยวแห่งประเทศไทยภายใต้ Thailand Art Walk

เชิญทุกท่านร่วมเป็นเกียรติเปิดนิทรรศการในวันที่ 13 ตุลาคม บริเวณชั้น 2 เกสร พลาช่า งานมีให้ชมจนถึงวันที่ 13 พฤศจิกายน บน BTS Skywalk

Calendar 2016-2017

Date and Time: November 2016 to April 2017 from 14.30 to 16.30 pm. Venue: Alumni Meeting Room, 12th Floor, Faculty of Political Science Chulalongkorn University
Audience : Open to researchers, Master and Ph.D. scholars and public.

Program:

  1. Friday, November 4, 2016: Introduction session. Beyond nature and culture in Southeast Asian Societies.

Abigaël Pesses and Stéphane Rennesson (Institute of Research on Contemporary Southeast Asia – IRASEC)

  1. Friday, December 16, 2016: Beyond Nature and Culture of Modern Thai Water Engineering: The Ontology of Infrastructure.

Jakkrit Sangkhamanee (CSDS Board and Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University)

  1. Friday, January 20, 2017: Politics of nature conservation in Thailand.

Pinkaew Laungaramsri (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University)

  1. Friday, February 24, 2017: Understanding an active volcano: animism and naturalism in the central javanese society. 

    Adeline Martinez  (IRASEC, Aix-Marseille University)

  2. Friday, March 17, 2017: Neak ta (land guardian spirits) in Cambodia. Reflections on the ideas of humanity and nature from the Khmer perspective. 

Anne Guillou (IRASEC)

  1. Friday, April 28, 2017: Web of relations: the way of giving, taking and reciprocating in the Moken’s world.

Narumon Arunotai (Research Unit on Cultural Dynamics and Ethnicity, Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University)

Special Lecture (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), November 2017:

Philippe Descola, Professor to the Chair in Anthropology of Nature at the College of France, (confirmed, title to define).