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Plantation

Plantation Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/environmental-humanities/article-pdf/14/2/361/1613839/361chao.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 12 August 2022 LIVI NG LEXI CON F OR THE E NV I R ONMENTA L HU MAN I T I ES SOPHIE CHAO Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney, Australia atricius, an Indigenous Marind elder, is teaching me how to listen to plantations. P We are standing in a 50,000-hectare oil palm concession in the Indonesian-controlled region of West Papua. Before oil palm, this land was home to many of Patricius’skin— cassowaries, possums, birds of paradise, sago palms. Now, an uncanny silence presides in the plantation, interrupted occasionally by crashing bulldozers, roaring chainsaws, and effluents spewing from the mill. There are no animals to be heard or movements detected. Rows of identical, equidistant oil palms extend into the horizon. Every so often, a gentle breeze animates the canopy. A senescing frond creaks. An invisible cicada strid- ulates in the overstory. Otherwise, only silence and singularity. My gaze follows Patri- cius’s arm as it unfurls slowly, capturing within its span the regimented landscape be- fore us. “Welcome to the plantation,” my companion declares, “welcome to the forests of the future.” As material formation and conceptual analytic, the plantation offers fertile grounds http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Humanities Duke University Press

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Copyright
© 2022 Sophie Chao
ISSN
2201-1919
eISSN
2201-1919
DOI
10.1215/22011919-9712423
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/environmental-humanities/article-pdf/14/2/361/1613839/361chao.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 12 August 2022 LIVI NG LEXI CON F OR THE E NV I R ONMENTA L HU MAN I T I ES SOPHIE CHAO Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney, Australia atricius, an Indigenous Marind elder, is teaching me how to listen to plantations. P We are standing in a 50,000-hectare oil palm concession in the Indonesian-controlled region of West Papua. Before oil palm, this land was home to many of Patricius’skin— cassowaries, possums, birds of paradise, sago palms. Now, an uncanny silence presides in the plantation, interrupted occasionally by crashing bulldozers, roaring chainsaws, and effluents spewing from the mill. There are no animals to be heard or movements detected. Rows of identical, equidistant oil palms extend into the horizon. Every so often, a gentle breeze animates the canopy. A senescing frond creaks. An invisible cicada strid- ulates in the overstory. Otherwise, only silence and singularity. My gaze follows Patri- cius’s arm as it unfurls slowly, capturing within its span the regimented landscape be- fore us. “Welcome to the plantation,” my companion declares, “welcome to the forests of the future.” As material formation and conceptual analytic, the plantation offers fertile grounds

Journal

Environmental HumanitiesDuke University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2022

References