Wolves Between the Lines of Nature & Culture
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This thesis explores the ways in which the wolf’s return to the Netherlands shapes human and other-than-human assemblages in the Veluwe with an emphasis on its Southern-Western region. Through my engagements with all kinds of human and other-than-human actors within the assemblage, I discovered how the wolf currently navigates the landscape and how its return challenges dominant notions and imaginaries rooted in nature-culture binaries. The Plantationocene serves as a lens here through which I observed the field of tension in the area between agriculture and ‘conservation/rewilding’ of nature, demarcated by boundaries and fences. The wolf, continuously crossing these human-made boundaries, interrogates our perceptions of Dutch ‘nature’, and in particular alienation, (salvage) accumulation and the scalability of other-than-human nature. In addition, following the wolfs’ multispecies engagements has led me to the collaborative work of shepherds, sheep, dogs, heather, and wolves in capitalist ruins, and to what they can tell us about collaborative survival in these troubling times. By applying Tsing’s (2018) concept of ‘domestication-as-rewilding’ to their ability to live in the mess’s capitalism has left us with, I attempt to offer a source of inspiration in imagining multispecies life.