Extending the hydrosocial cycle: ecologies of spirit in Timor Leste (14839)
Linking my ethnographic data to the theoretical literature on post-humanism, vital materialism, and the hydrosocial cycle, in this presentation I advance an argument about the forms, agency and temporal ecologies of water and spirit in eastern Timor Leste. In this multi-dimensional space, the notion of ‘inclusive sociality’ is applied to understand both water’s participation in existence and the connectivity and political effects of ‘consciousness’ manifesting in water and associated ‘bodies’ and ‘things’ across space and time. I show how the agential and temporal roles of salt and fresh water are folded into the hydrosocial cycle, underpinning it in ways which necessarily extend our understanding of the social. Sensing the qualities of relatedness embedded in this hydrosocial cycle, the political and ethical challenge I argue is to pluralistically think through such alternative renderings of water. In understanding the co-constitution of water through the ‘congealed agency’ of materiality, meaning and connectivity, we can better explicate the significance and worth of ideas of communicative reciprocity and associated practices across human and non human-realms. The implication of this for the fluid politics of spirit and water are profound.