Sunday, December 6, 2009

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing Friction: gaps, collaboration and hope

Gaps are always being produced as discriminations are made. p. 196 and sometimes these gaps are productive to gather people to activate.

Tsing briefly mentions the cause to save wild Orangutans on p. 240 and so I want to look at her text through the organization Orangutan Outreach, that I shamefully am plugging on behalf of my friend who runs the organization and Willie Smits efforts to regenerate a rainforest for orangutans and the local community. The narrative of these loveable animals and Willie Smits is in line with the allegorical package of the frontier hero that Tsing speaks of in her text.

Tisng writes “Cultures are continually co-produced in the interactions I call “friction”: the awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative qualities of interconnection across difference.” p. 4 “Collaboration is not a simple sharing of information. There is no reason to assume that collaborators share common goals.” p. 13

Willie Smits a forest engineer and conservationist has successfully regenerated 2,000 hectares of rainforest that had been destroyed by fire to repopulate the area with orangutans in their forest habitat. He did this by finding plants that the local population could use to increase their income and not destroy the forest with palm sugars. The results are quite amazing and you can watch his TED video for more details but he has coordinated a collaboration of many individuals have worked together with different goals that so far has been a success.

Watch the video here: Willie Smits on TED talks

Orangutan Outreach is one of the outlets that tell the narrative. Visit the site and if you are looking for holiday gifts maybe you will consider adopting an orangutan.

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