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Glossary

This page offers a glossary for the main themes and concepts of Coastal Commons: Beyond North Sea Extractivism. We hope it will help you engage with the discussions and conversations of the programme. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you feel that any definition is missing

  • Accountability means being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it.
  • Adaptation is the evolutionary process where an organism becomes better able to live in its habitat. Here, “intentional adaptation” suggests that this process is consciously planned or aimed.
  • Advocate is to publicly support or suggest an idea, development, or way of doing something.
  • Aestheticisation means making things more visually appealing.
  • Anti-colonial/ Decolonial actions are the opposition to colonialism through political, social, and cultural resistance. They encompass movements seeking sovereignty, autonomy, and independence from colonial powers, challenging oppressive policies and reclaiming indigenous rights and identities.
  • Anthropocentric: Anthropocentric is a mode considering humankind as the central or most important element of existence in the universe, instead of animals, plants etc.
  • Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private ownership of resources and means of production, driven by profit-seeking and competition. It emphasizes the pursuit of individual self-interest over that of community’s encouraging investment, entrepreneurship, and the accumulation of wealth. It carries risks of inequality and exploitation.
  • Categorisations & Classifications are methods of organising items, concepts, or birds in this case, based on shared features.The use of “violent” here focuses on how scientists and museums have assigned these categories to control or exploit.
  • Colonialism is when one country forcefully takes control of another for its own gain, often resulting in violence, exploitation, and the suppression of the colonised people and land.
  • Commodification: Within a capitalist economic system, commodification is the transformation of things including goods, services, ideas, nature, people or animals into objects of trade or commodities that can be exchanged in the marketplace for economic value. The commodification of animals is one of the earliest forms of commodification, including the use of animals for food, fashion, labour, transport, entertainment, companionship, and so on.
  • Constitutive forming an essential element of something.
  • Digital Realm refers to the virtual world created by technology such as the internet and digital media.
  • Ecology is the study of organisms and their environment.
  • Ecosystem is a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.
  • Envision is to imagine that something is a desirable possibility in the future.
  • Extractive capitalism: Extractive capitalism is a form of capitalism based on the extraction of humans or natural resources for the aim of profit. The concept was developed by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 2014 book Expulsions, where she describes how the second phase of capitalism leaves behind dead land and dead water through the extraction of palm oil, rare metals for electronics, diamonds and so on.
  • Extractivism refers to the practice of extracting and exploiting natural resources, such as minerals, fossil fuels, or timber, often for export and profit. It often involves intensive and unsustainable extraction methods that can have detrimental social, economic, and environmental impacts on affected communities and ecosystems.
  • Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources formed from ancient organic matter, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. They are widely used for energy production due to their high energy density but contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and climate change.
  • The Global South refers to countries located primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, often characterized by lower levels of economic development, political influence, and infrastructure compared to countries in the Global North. It is a term used to highlight the disparities in global power and resources caused among other factors by colonialism
  • Globalization refers to the increasing interconnection of countries and societies through global trade, communication, and cultural exchange. It involves the movement of goods, services, ideas, and people across borders, leading to both opportunities for growth and challenges such as inequality and cultural homogenization.
  • Hebron is a Palestinian city in the West Bank
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also commonly known as bird flu, is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds.
  • Immolate means to sacrifice or kill
  • Installation is a large-scale, mixed-media construction, often designed for a specific place or for a temporary period of time.
  • Migratory Patterns are the routes animals take when cyclically and seasonally moving between places.
  • Modernism is a cultural and political movement characterised by a departure from traditional norms and practices, prioritising innovation and progress.
  • More-than-human: The phrase “more-than-human world” was coined by cultural ecologist and geophilosopher David Abram in his 1996 book The Spell of the Sensuous. Adopted by many scholars, theorists and activists, the concept of “more-than-human” has become a key phrase to critically counter culture-nature division and highlight that humans are always in the immersion in a sentient, multispecies, relational sphere of “breathing earth”. 
  • Multidisciplinary can involve several different fields of study, areas of expertise or artistic mediums.
  • Murmuration: Murmuration is a description of an incredible natural phenomenon in which a flock of birds, usually starlings, fly together in an ever-changing, almost dancing or liquid-like form. Despite being common throughout the country, starlings are one of the UK Red List birds of high conservation concern due to a sharp breeding population decline since the 1960s.
  • Naturalists are scientists who study nature.
  • Neoliberalism is an economic and political ideology that emphasizes free markets, deregulation, privatization, and reduced government intervention. It promotes individual self-interest and profit-driven competition, often resulting in increased inequality and a focus on economic efficiency over social welfare.
  • Non-Profit organisations which do not distribute their surplus funds to owners or shareholders but instead use them to help pursue its goals.
  • Ornamental means something that serves as decoration or adornment.
  • Ornithology: Ornithology is the scientific study of birds. Although it is a branch of zoology and is a scientific study, the discipline represents a broad foundation of knowledge including folklore, description and classification of species, and internal anatomy of birds. Ornithology is one of the few scientific fields in which non-professionals make substantial contributions. Much research is carried out at universities and museums, while field research is conducted by both professionals and amateurs, the latter providing valuable information on behaviour, ecology, distribution, and migration.
  • Petrocapitalism is a form of capital accumulation founded on the extraction, distribution, and consumption of petroleum and its byproducts.
  • Queer is a complex term that usually refers to challenging traditional ideas about gender and sexuality.
  • Renewable energies are sources of energy derived from natural resources that can be replenished or regenerated over time. They include solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass energy, offering sustainable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels and contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable energy system.
  • Reparations are making amends for past wrongs, often reparations include financial compensations for the material and emotional damages inflicted.
  • Sacrifice zones: A sacrifice zone usually means a geographic area or place where lives become compromised and to be seen as disposable and unwanted in the name of economic growth to satisfy capitalist interests. Here refers to the species of birds destroyed in the name of power and profit.
  • Scala Naturae sometimes known as “The Great Chain of Being”, is a chain of all living organisms created by Plato and further developed in the middle ages with a Christian God at the top, followed by the Angels, Humanity, Animals, Plants and Minerals at the bottom.
  • Spell is a series of spoken words believed to have magical power.
  • Sustainability refers to the ability to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, by balancing environmental, social, and economic factors for long-term well-being and resilience.
  • Taxidermy: Taxidermy is the practice of creating lifelike representations of animals for display or study, most commonly birds and mammals, by the use of their dead bodies and various supporting structures. There are many ways to do taxidermy, but it usually involves preparing the skins of dead animals and birds, stuffing and/or mounting the animal skins on fake bodies.
  • Taxonomy: Taxonomy is a science and practice of categorisation or classification. It is the methodology and principles of naming, describing and classifying organisms and includes all plants, animals and microorganisms of the world, both living and extinct, in hierarchies of superior and subordinate groups, based on their similarities and differences.
  • Trans-Species means to cross the boundaries between different types of animals and plants.
  • Utilitarian means it is designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive.
  • We Move As a Murmuration: The title “we move as a murmuration” is an extract from adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (AK Press, Chico, 2017). In the chapter “intentional adaptation: how we change,” adrienne and Sierra Pickett describe murmuration as a movement of a collective leadership and real-time collective adaptation, based on a deep trust amongst neighbouring creatures.