Where the Leaves Fall #7


Exploring humankind’s interaction with nature

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The themes for this issue are perception, equity, and revolution, alongside a series of dialogues.


In our first theme of this issue, writer Anna Souter looks at how our use of language can define our relationship with the natural world. This notion is taken further in our edited extract from Jeremy Lent’s book The Web of Meaning, in which he advocates a move from a civilisation that is wealth-based to one that is life-based, rejecting human supremacy in favour of an assertion of the primacy of life; and in Tamara Dean’s beautifully composed photographs, which present human beings immersed in ecosystems, as mammals threatened by environmental degradation just like any other species.


In our second theme we present the winners of the Good Food For All Photography Competition, featuring the five winning photographs that explore the UN Food System Summit’s action tracks, demonstrating healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems through beautifully composed documentary photographs. Focusing on her work on food justice, agrarian transformation and land reform, our Q&A with South African cultural practitioner, food activist and artist, Zayaan Khan highlights the socio-political contexts of present day crises and how we can unhinge our dependency on neoliberalism through Indigenous food reclamation.


In our final theme, Misha Vallejo Prut’s photography shines a light on the Kichwa people of Sarayaku, in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, who have embraced technology and social media to communicate their philosophy. Political ecologist Mihnea Tănăsescu examines how granting rights to nature may not always benefit the environment. And we talk to Brazilian Indigenous leader Sônia Guajajara about fighting for Indigenous rights, how women are increasingly taking leadership roles, and her hopes and fears for the future.


Abass Owolabi Adesola reveals how the mathematics of nature connects us with our environment; Krystina Amato describes how the natural world connects her to her ancestors and could help the healing process following Canada’s shameful treatment of its Indigenous peoples. Márcio Cruz explores how Black cinema reconnects us with African notions of time, suggesting a way for us to consider a more balanced relationship with life, ancestrality and the environment; and Shell Parsons considers the intense connection with the natural world that is felt by many autistic people.

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