Foresta Gozd Forest
336 color pages
9 different languages
printed on leftover paper
Vegetal life is quickly becoming – because of the global environmental crisis – one of the important focal points of (post)humanistic studies around the globe. If animals by now got their respective part of the philosophical pie – we are of course thinking of the contributions by Gilles Deleuze and especially Jacques Derrida, and later animal rights and animal liberation thinkers – plants, on the other hand, were mainly left out of such discourses, used only as metaphors, but nevertheless categorized closer to rocks than to real life of animals and human beings.
In his 1929/30 lecture course, later published under the title Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude (1983), Martin Heidegger claimed: “We do not say the stone is asleep or awake. Yet what about the plant? Here we are already uncertain. It is highly questionable whether the plant sleeps, precisely because it is questionable whether it is awake.” If it is for Heidegger obvious that the stone is worldless, animal is poor in the world and only humans really have a world and are world forming – the question that he pointed out is: What about plants? Do plants have a world?
There are of course other consequential questions arising from Heidegger’s one: If plants do have a world, what kind of a world is it? If it is a worldless world or an impoverished one – what can we nevertheless learn from it? And how does our world, the human world, interact with the worlds of plants and animals?
These vegetal and animal worlds, however, make part of a bigger ecosystem: the forest, a combination, mixture of different worlds – their collision and their symbiosis. As the forest is too often being reduced to a utility or a resource, our goal was to point out its aesthetical, political, cultural and philosophical specificities, and with that overcome our – what John Berger called animal-blindness and later James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schussler called plant-blindness – general forest-blindness, i.e., conceptualizing the forest through culturally and historically conditioned categories. This blindness is one of the major dangers that mark our era.
In all of this, one thing is certain: The forest is not One. Its parts grow independently, regardless of the self of the forest. Every part grows in its own way. As do the contributions of our authors in the present issue of Robida magazine. As Michael Marder once said in an interview: “If we want to escape from proto-fascism in our political thought, whereby the state is equated to an organic whole and individuals to its mostly insignificant organs, we must seek a vegetal model of the political.” As a result, this issue is also not a One, its modes are vegetal and rhizomatic. It’s more about getting lost in it: starting at the forest edge, taking your first step in and – before you know it – you’re lost. Lost in its dark parts, covered with thick and dense vegetation. In being lost like that, it is enough to listen, look, touch, smell, taste and think and the forest will reveal new political models, ways of remembering, storytelling, perceiving and, last but not least, being.
Giovanni Aloi, Gabriela Basta, Greta Biondi, Elena Braida, Omar Cheikh, Gloria Cianchi, Nino Ciccone, Callum Copley, Zuzia Derlacz, Adele Dipasquale, Due Limone: Francesca Tebaldini & Joanna Pellizer, Elia Fidanza, Anna Maria Fink, Teresa Frausin, Alessandro Furchino Capria, Giovanni Emilio Galanello, Jimena García Álvarez-Buylla, Ira Grünberger, Camilla Isola, Nina Iżycka, Morta Jonynaitė, Jani Van Kampen, Laure Keyrouz, Zuzanna Kofta, Jakob Koncut, Mateja Kurir, Kim Lang, Antônio Frederico Lasalvia, Giovanni Leghissa, Bruno Lopes, Francesca Lucchitta, Giovanna Mackenna, Tracy Mackenna, Bianca Maldini, Roberta Mansueto, Michael Marder, Jannete Mark, Fabien Marques, Igor Martinig, Alma Mileto, Francisco Mojica, Francesca Morici, Maria Moschioni, Maruša Mugerli Lavrenčič, Marta Oliva, Marta Olivieri, Peter Pflügler, Teo Giovanni Poggi, Barbara Prezelj, Pleasure Rocks: Titta C. Raccagni & Barbara Stimoli & Alessia Bernardini, Małgorzata Rej, Paola Ristoldo, Vittoria Rubini, Elena Rucli, Renzo Rucli, Vida Rucli, Alessandro Ruzzier, SABA: Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu, Andrea Salerno, Pola Salicka, Urška Savič, Laura Savina, El Seidel, Studio Nses: Enrico Siardi, Anna-Sophie Springer, Maike Statz, Gaba Szałańska, Aljaž Škrlep, Miguel Teodoro, Lucrezia Travella, Ariane Toussaint, Andreina Trusgnach, Elena Tuan, Tina Volarič, Beatrice Zerbato.
Interviews: Michael Marder, Giovanni Leghissa, Anna-Sophie Springer