Performing Ghosts, Emotion and Sensory Environments

  • Peta Tait


This chapter explores how performance and photographic art that reflect feminist and ecological values contribute to political understanding of the human and the nonhuman . It argues that body-based performance can draw attention to how the environment is always phenomenologically perceived through the body’s sensory and emotional processes. Performances and photographs by Australian artists Jill Orr and r e a (Gamilaraay), in which ghost-like humans with ambiguous social identities haunt darkened and fire-affected nonhuman spaces, deliver complex postcolonial perspectives. In this interpretation, an eco-phenomenological approach builds on ideas of feminist ecologies and the concept of a shared natural world envisaged by ecofeminism, as it points to the possibility of unravelling the power relations of dominance. While emotionally felt responses towards the nonhuman potentially provide a galvanizing force for protection of the environment, performance and art facilitate awareness of troubling emotional contradictions and of the body-self’s patterns that underlie human dominance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peta Tait
    • 1
  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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