Taiwo Afolabi presented the conversation Performance and Reconfiguring Human and Non-Human Species livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Wednesday 16 August at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 7 p.m. EAT (Nairobi, UTC + 3).
Notable scholars and renowned activists in the climate change discourse advocate that for the climate crises to be combated, humans will have to reevaluate their relationship with the environment. In other words, the place of man on Earth as a living entity ought to be redefined. There needs to be a shift from human-centered thinking to eco-centric learning, where man will have to view the world as more than the human entity.
While animal rights have begun to gain ground in some countries of the Global South, such as India, countries in the Amazon region have also started making legislation for rivers as a way of giving agency to rivers and the inhabitants of the aquatic world. A number of revolutionary eco-performances that center on this discussion abound. In 2020, there was a string quartet performance in Barcelona, which had two 2,292 potted plants as the audience. This eco-performance, which is the first of its kind, was aimed at putting plants into the center of performance and creating space for a human and more than human discourse. How can eco-performance be a push for the transvaluation of human and non-human species?
Dr. Henry Ajumeze is lecturer in theatre studies at the School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures at the University of Manchester. He studied at the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and has been a fellow or awardee of several prestigious organizations, including the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), African Humanities Program (AHP) of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI). His research is at the intersection of postcolonial theatre and environmental humanities, interrogating the performance culture of ecosystems—human and nonhuman—in the politics of global capitalism.