Inalienable Worlds

Inter-species Relations, Perspectives and 'Doublethink' in a Catalonian Chimpanzee Sanctuary

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
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  • 1 University of Cambridge lss32@cam.ac.uk
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This article draws on ethnographic research conducted in a chimpanzee sanctuary in Catalunya, and contributes to contemporary theoretical debates surrounding Viveiros de Castro's recent injunction for anthropologists to 'take seriously' the worlds of their ethnographic interlocutors. Taking seriously apparent contradictions in keepers' reflections on the care of chimpanzees, the concept of 'doublethink' is introduced as a heuristic in order to appreciate both their practices of boundary maintenance and the strong inter-species relationships which proliferate at the sanctuary. Anthropologies of Euro-American naturalism must be ready to appreciate both the apparently unbridgeable dualisms utilized and enacted by their interlocutors, and the simultaneous disappearance, dissolution and intermittent irrelevance of these dualisms in their interlocutors' encounters and reflections. The article concludes with a rethinking of the alienability/inalienability of others' worlds.

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