Drawing on insights from indigenous cultures and everyday practices, D’Souza’s talk focuses on the centrality of assembly for collective life among animals and humans. Capitalist modernity introduces a rupture between natures, peoples and places by transforming nature into property, people into ‘labour force’ and place into territory. The concept of rights in liberal theory and practice plays a critical role in transforming a natural relationship into a legal one founded on property and contract. The challenge is to go beyond “othering” nature and reimagine a reciprocal relationship with it.
Radha D’Souza is a critical scholar, social justice activist, barrister and writer, from India. She is Professor of Law, Development and Conflict Studies at the University of Westminster. She has written and published extensively on a range of subjects and issues concerning social and global justice, and the Global South. She is author of What’s Wrong With Rights? Social Movements, Law and Liberal Imaginations (Pluto, 2018).