Tema Milstein | Flying your nature freak flag
Human exceptionalism perpetuated through cultural and institutional systems is killing us, and bringing much of life on Earth down with us.
If we are going to save the planet, Tema Milstein says we need to start hugging trees. Westernised humans tend to believe they are separate from nature, which shapes thinking and actions toward the environment. But seeing the world with humans at its centre has massive ramifications – from climate crisis to mass extinction. What stands in the way of more of us remembering we are embedded in the natural world and its intricate networks? And how do we override anthropocentrism, and start seeing ourselves as one with the flowers?
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This talk was a part of Unthinkable, an event of short talks in the 2022 Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
Tema Milstein’s work tends to ways culture and communication shape ecological understandings, identities, and actions. Her recent edited books, the Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (2020) and Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice (2017), explore the centrality of the ecological in our lives and our learning. She is an Associate Professor of Environment & Society in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney, and convenor of the Master of Environmental Management program.