'Everyday resistance': challenging the norms of human–nonhuman engagements through bushwalking in Tasmania
Banham, R, 'Everyday resistance': challenging the norms of human-nonhuman engagements through bushwalking in Tasmania, Journal of Sociology, 58, (4) pp. 570-587. ISSN 1440-7833 (2021) [Refereed Article]
This article explores how bushwalking in Tasmania, Australia functions as a performance of 'everyday resistance'. 'Everyday resistance' refers to experiences of relationship with the nonhuman, through which individuals resist alienating and dominating forms of human–nonhuman engagements encouraged by central Western cultural narratives. The work of Tasmanian environmental activists is easily understood as ‘political’, encouraging ‘counter-narratives’ of critical forms of human–nonhuman engagement. Drawing from interviews conducted with 27 Tasmanians, this article contends that participants' descriptions of their forest experiences reflect these same forms of counter-narrative. As such, I argue that personal experiences perform an important role as critical, resistant, and disruptive representations of human–nonhuman engagement. This radical power is easily overlooked, however, as such everyday activities lack the visibility, intelligibility, and intent of organised environmental activism. I therefore argue that forest experiences should be recognised as a performance of relational, compassionate connection with the nonhuman that is vital, dynamic, and often underestimated in its significance.