Bernice Maxton-Lee

I am fascinated with big socio-environmental problems. To understand them I look at individual identities (or ‘subjectivities‘), and how they interact with assumptions, habits, understandings and expectations at different levels (ie personal, cultural and intergenerational), to build a pattern of action and reaction.

(That’s mostly Gramsci and Žižek – a good starting point is here (Gramsci) and here (Žižek)).

It is important to pay attention to context: the when is a vital part of understanding the what, and the whens influence the subjectivities of the whats.

Sounds great: what does that mean?

For example: my own current environmental subjectivity is constructed from my identity as a white citizen of a liberal democratic, European society. I spent my childhood in the mountains and my early adulthood (and a big chunk of present adulthood) in Southeast Asia, which influence (among other things like a love for all kinds of Asian cuisine) what I think of as nature and environmental degradation.

Credit Graeme Maxton 2010

 

This photograph shows some key identifiers in my own subjectivity: a young, tree-hugging woman with a sense of fun to balance the seriousness of environmental analysis. These subjectivities, how I see myself, interact with how other people see me and their expectations and understandings of environment, politics, tree-hugging, feminism, age, culture and history.

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