Geosocialities, Flow and Renewal in Microbial Rivers

Authors

  • Serena Zanzu University of Warwick

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i1.740

Keywords:

water, river, microbial communities, geosocialities, flow

Abstract

This article draws on interview data and insights from environmental studies and somatic therapy to argue for the significance of thinking ‘with rivers’ in order to reaffirm human and nonhuman entanglements in the current challenges presented by anthropogenic devastation. River microbial communities are unintelligible and complex entities due to their unclear origin and continuous flow downstream. The account of one environmental scientist is presented to consider how the metaphors of movement used in the riverine context assist in exploring the complicated dynamics of fluid communities facing constantly changing environments I call ‘microbial rivers’. A pollution incident affecting a UK river, where microbial communities responded by growing in number and activity, further illustrates the intersection of communities and ecosystems in their adaptation to troubling human interventions. Engaging with somatic understandings of trauma, this article proposes thinking with flow as a possibility to reimagine the capacity for renewal when experiencing debilitating adversities, thus countering apocalyptic responses of immobility in the face of environmental destruction and inviting novel opportunities for growth for human and nonhuman communities.

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A river flowing through the middle of a lush forest

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Published

2021-10-28

Issue

Section

Articles