Of intimate others: more-than human rights for the more-than human world

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Satchell, KM 2008, 'Of intimate others: more-than human rights for the more-than human world', in R Garbutt (ed.), Proceedings of the Activating Human Rights and Peace: Universal Responsibility Conference, Byron Bay, NSW, 1-4 July, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 205-215. ISBN: 9780980498059.

Peer Reviewed



In the interest of activating human rights and peace, toward a realisation of universal responsibilities for 21st Century challenges, notions concerning the more-than human world offer a critical ethical framework. This paper acts as a poetic intervention, on the premise that human rights underpinned by anthropocentrist assumptions, are impoverished and ultimately pressed into service of the structured inequalities they intend to depose. Therefore, a relational understanding of the integrated weave between considerations of human rights, social justice, cultural diversity and ecological sensibility, are imperative to any discussion of human rights, particularly at the nexus of social and environmental justice. The new ecology rearticulates a synergistic view of the more-than human world as a whole which is greater than the sum of the parts (Rose 2008). ‘The new ecology’ according to Deborah Bird Rose (2004) ‘starts with this fundamental assertion: that the unit of survival is not the individual or species, but is the organismand-its-environment.’ The more-than humanist activates a politics of hope, flowing in the poetics of ecological sensibilities, attuned to the unfolding of more-than human complexity. This paper uses quotidian examples in dialogue with the more-than human world; commiserate with the relational ontology of a shared home-place, upon which all life depends. Creative research methodologies, representations and performative modes of inquiry, animate the sentient archives of place, to articulate some of the imaginative and material possibilities, the more-than human world is beckoning for.