Ecofeminist Philosophy and the Paradox of Essentialism in Artistic Creation

Ecofeminist Philosophy and the Paradox of Essentialism in Artistic Creation: Reading the Culture/Nature/Gender Trichotomy through Contemporary Visual Arts
Farzaneh Doosti
Abstract:   (13 Views)
Among various late 20th century schools of thought which have addressed the rapid deterioration of nature and the environment, Ecofeminism stands out. The term was first coined by the French writer Francoise d’Eaubonne in her 1972 book Feminism or Death.She was almost the first one to view domination, gender and the environmentin connection with each other. According to Ecofeminism, a dominating ideology equally treats women and the culturally inferior, and the naturally inferior such as animals and the environment. In other words, similar patterns are at work to undermine the essence and identity of both.Thus,Ecofeminism has philosophical, theological, sociological and ecological concerns on one hand, and political and pragmatic concerns on the other. One can identify Ecofeminism schools and branches based on their political thought and praxis; however, what they all have in common is questioning dominant power structures that have equally subjugated woman and nature over time in different sociocultural and political contexts. Freed from gender/ecologic domination patterns,uto/dystopias and their hazards thus turn into main subjects of contemporary Ecofeminist subjects through a self-deconstructive approach.One should, however, admit that Ecofeminism’sfundamental philosophical and methodological flaws, most significantlyaccording to its critics, pure essentialism. The present paper intends to reframe Ecofeminismthrougha study of some contemporary artworks in the genre,rereading its deemed essentialism and sexism.
Keywords: Ecological artsEcofeminismEssentialismSelf/OtherNature/CultureGender.

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