In my naming of this piece of research, it’s not so much that I am calling the river itself Queer, but my orientation towards it:
‘To queer something is to take a look at its foundations and question them…’
I want to explore how we can alter our perceptions of and relationship to rivers, through dialogical, visual arts practice. By walking with the river, including the organisms that live within it and the people that live and work along it, I aim to inform my understanding of the role that we can play (both humans and non-humans) within the riverine ecosystems of the future.
My thinking about and relationship to the word Queer is further explored in a recent article that I wrote for the Climate Cultures blog. Please follow the link below the quote to read the full article:
‘What I have come to realise is that being Queer is not about being defined by others as Other, but refusing to be colonised or domesticated. It is about being yourself in spite of the restrictions you may face, a self that you discover through relationship with others. In this way I see it as closely related to (Re)wilding, whereby if the right conditions are put in place, the land begins to heal itself, bringing health to it and to us.’
A Queer Path to Wellbeing – James Aldridge, July 2020