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Against Ecological SovereigntyEthics, Biopolitics, and Saving the Natural World$
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Mick Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670284

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670284.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Awakening
Against Ecological Sovereignty

Mick Smith

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on the image found on the walls of the Lascaux cave that depicts a sprawled human figure and a speared bison, which, according to Georges Bataille, captures the moment of humanity’s inception or becoming recognizably human. For Bataille, the artistic representation of man and bison provides an exemplary expression and illustration of a specifically human existence that has become self-aware of the nature of its own mortality. The Lascaux cave painting reveals the animation of human beings that are able to represent to themselves, in thought and in art, the inevitability of deaths and the dependence of ephemeral lives on causing the death of other animals.

Keywords:   Lascaux cave, Georges Bataille, human existence, mortality, deaths, artistic representation, bison, human figure

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