“As the ecological crisis grew, the schema of zoo as Eden was soon replaced by that of the Ark. If the former offered its animal charges leisure and security over inhospitable wilderness, the latter offered refuge from apocalyptic destruction. Their human visitors were now also their rescuers; to communion was added redemption.” – [Matthew Chrulew 2011]
Following a trip south to Suzhou Zoo to visit two of only three remaining Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtles in the world and the extinct-in-the-wild South China Tiger, this week the group will read Matthew Chrulew’s essay ‘Managing Love and Death at the Zoo: The Biopolitics of Endangered Species Preservation’ (Australian Humanities Review, 2011), which delves into the contemporary biopolitics of zoological care. While many species are left to slip away unnoticed, what of those that we insist on keeping alive at all costs? How to love in a time of extinction?
New readers welcome, as always. RSVP if you can (and we’ll send you the text beforehand), or just turn up. This time we’ll also make soup!