Sonia Mehra Chawla – The Non-Human Touch. What Values Can Emerge from Ruined Landscape?

Sonia Mehra Chawla 
The Non-Human Touch. What Values Can Emerge from Ruined Landscape?


»In the Anthropocene, observing microbial worlds is more essential than ever. Human bodies can no longer be seen as fortresses to defend against microbial assault.« In this essay, Sonia Mehra Chawla advocates for livable collaborations and rethinking bacteria as partners in health and survival of all living species. The starting point is her visit to the ruins of Cramond Island, a Scottish defense site from World War II, where she explored the manifold life forms that inhabit tidal zones. The essay further investigates the potential of cohabitation and contamination for sustaining all life on Earth in an era in which we encounter many urgencies with accelerating rates of species extinctions – whereby here a sad parallel can be drawn to the violent history of the wartime site and the ongoing anthropogenic activities within the site, that slowly becomes invaded by bacteria that take back its space.



The L13 READER NR 3 is published as part of the project N U R T U R Æ L. With N U R T U R Æ L, the performance group THE AGENCY develops a speculative scenario for a possible post-human world for the Lothringer 13 Halle, in which collaborative survival, mutual awareness and care for one another form the prerequisite for a possible post-human way of being together. The exhibition N U R T U R Æ L presents works by Kanako Azuma, Sarah Doerfel, Nile Koetting and THE AGENCY. With the performative installation SOLASTALGIA, THE AGENCY will open a space of farewell to the centrality of man in an ecosystem destroyed by him from 23 June - 3 July 2022.

In the idea of accompanying publishing, texts and visual material will successively be made accessible that are related to the themes and questions of the project and open up further spaces of thought. The contributions will be made available both online and in print on site and can be individually compiled by visitors.