• Eunice Blavascunas WHITMAN COLLEGE



protest, forest, gaiapolitics, bark beetle, Białowieża, Poland, Belarus, refugees


The challenge of the politics of the Anthropocene is how to respond to the protests of nature: how to elaborate modes of thought, collective action and social institutions through which non-human agents can be integrated into political communities, even as non-humans exceed our understanding and remain a subject of difference. This paper looks at how the contested borderland forest, Białowieża, at the Polish-Belarusian border helps us think across protest culture during post-socialism. We examine the Białowieża forest as a site of, participant in and provoker of a series of protests: those against national park expansion, against logging, in support of bark beetle rewilding, of far right radical movements and for or against Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers crossing through the forest since EU sanctions were imposed on Belarus in 2021. We do so in order to suggest that these protests should be read as a continuum that enables reflection into why this forest is a key site of protest; that exploring them as a continuum reveals something about an emergent ecology of protest; and that this exploration offers an insight into what is at stake if we see the forest itself as protesting.


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2022-12-30 — Updated on 2023-01-27

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