The Inter-Species Manifesto
We, the organisms living in the Anthropocene era, aware of our rights and the dangers we face, united in a struggle across the division of species, walking arm in arm, fin to fin, limb to limb, demand the abolition of the current hierarchical system based on exploitation and crime. We stand up for the interests of a multispecies community: the slaves and the precariat – the representatives of the laboring non-human organisms, the exploited classes consisting of countless ecosystems and communities.
We rise above the divisions and declare:
We consider the classical understanding of Nature to be outdated. The various processes that affect us – natural, capitalist, industrial, overproduction, meteorological, migration, ecological disasters, wars, ocean currents, climate change, environmental ruin, etc. – can no longer be separated from one another. They are all interrelated within the global system of interconnections and relations.
We will overturn the catastrophic division between humans and their culture and the “natural” non-humans who can on a mass scale be owned, exploited, and murdered.
We believe that the very concept of “Human”/ has never described all human beings equally. This patriarchal construction, based on the domination of the white male, served to build a hierarchy within the human species and the exclusion of groups deemed not fully “human.”
Because of this, we no longer want to participate in the race for privilege within the neoliberal capitalist system, a construction conditioned by anthropocentrism and patriarchy. As members of multispecies ecosystems, we prefer to move towards creating interspecies communities and build the foundations for the egalitarian societies of the future.
The formula of linear growth must be replaced with the formula of circular regeneration.
Once we reject the false notion of human domination, we shall dissolve into a vast network of interdependencies and connections, and we shall hear the countless voices and opinions of non-human organisms that have not yet been heard.
We believe that a number of social inequalities, the spread of racist ideologies, and chauvinism, has its source in human domination over other species.
We demand that subjectivity and agency of other species be recognized. We demand that they participate in the process of negotiating new human investments, where their interests, needs, and requirements are often neglected.
The human species claims the right to permanently transform 90% of the planet, leaving just a few sites, open-air museums, and scarce relics that they call “true nature,” while taking away the selfhood of all other areas of the Earth. We demand legislation to protect the planet from Homo sapiens.
We demand conferring legal personality on the ecosystems and non-human beings. They have the integral right for their existence to be respected and to maintain and renew their life cycles, structures, and functions. They have the right for their needs, and above all their right to live, to be taken into account.
In the era of the global environmental catastrophe, a large part of humanity – when it comes to the community of objectives and interests – finds itself closer to the non-human species than to the narrow group of privileged Homo sapiens. The big industry’s degradation of the environment is destroying entire ecosystems and their inhabitants, regardless of whether they have fins, rhizomes, or [walk on] two or two dozen limbs.
We therefore demand regulations to protect our multispecies community from human investment, limitless exploitation, overproduction, the further exploitation of fossil fuels, and the unrestricted slaughter of farmed non-humans.
The impression of human superiority and [human] control over the Earth has always been a fiction. Everything that we have, we owe to the ancient ferns, horsetails, and ground pines, whose remains have transformed into oil, coal, and plastic.
Let us restore the rightful peace to these ancient plants — their bodies should remain where they belong, in their proper geological layers. It is time to stop toying with the geologic time scale. We demand fossil fuels be replaced by renewable energy sources as soon as possible.
It is our duty to act on behalf of all beings. Symbiotically, we assemble as/in the indefinite diversity of rhizomes, thalli, feet, fins, pseudopodia, cilia, and hooves.
Diana Lelonek. Born in 1988. Graduate of the Faculty of Multimedia Communication at the University of Arts in Poznań. Her practice is based on photography combined with other media. Lelonek has won several international competitions, among others: Show Off during the Kraków Photomonth Festival and ReGeneration 3 at the Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland. Her works are in the collection of the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Center of the Contemporary Art in Warsaw, among others.
Anna Siekierska is a graduate of the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, currently employed there as an assistant in the drawing studio. She is an active artist and activist engaged above all in initiatives for nature. Her works have been exhibited in Poland, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, and France. In 2017, she received an artistic grant from the capital city of Warsaw, and in 2019 she received an artistic grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
She is an animal, a member of an interspecies community+. Using art, she speaks on behalf of other species exploited and discriminated by Homo sapiens.
Coverphoto: Puszczowce, Diana Lelonek.