Walking-with children on blasted landscapes

Year: 2019

Author: Malone, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Walking-with is a time-travel-hopping (Barad 2017) in the embodied material labour of cutting through/undoing colonialist thinking in an attempt to come to terms with the unfathomable violence of repeated colonialization, genocide and destruction. Walking-with children on blasted landscapes, means walking-with to notice, attune with sensorial knowing as bodies sweaty, heavy lifting with/through the unknowing. “Walking is embodied because it is immediate, tangible, and foregrounds the bodily experience of moving” (Springgay and Truman 2017, p.30). They will not talk of the radiation, the nuclear bombs, the polygon, the teachers and UNICEF staff tell me. Yet in these openings of walking-with pedagogies the child-earth bodies walking-with me share, haunting stories of fear, fascination and body radiation occupation. Walking-with children allows for deep relational knowing, we talk through with and being in place; place walking becomes our shared rhythm; the children bring me into their place. Walking-with children seduces me into these temporal diffractive possibilities, Plutonium-239, has a 25,000 year half-life. I am walking-with those who are deemed unworthy of recognition and are invisible in the anthro-obscene manifestations of western capitalism. Are you still walking-with me? Who are your adult researcher body from across the oceans claiming to know how it feels to be an earth-child body, to be a container for generations of radiation trauma?

Barad, K. (2017a) Troubling time/s and ecologies of nothingness: re-turning, re-membering, and facing the incalculable, New Formations, 92, (Special issue Posthuman Temporalities), 10.3898/NEWF:92.05.2017

Springgay, S., and Truman, S., (2017) A Transmaterial Approach to Walking Methodologies: Embodiment, Affect, and a Sonic Art Performance, Body & Society, 23(4), 27-58.