Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation

Annotated by Narawan Kyo Pathomvat


In one of her conversations, Juno Salazar Parreñas said that ‘I wrote my book with many audiences in mind: conservationists who perhaps have never questioned the premises of their goals, feminists who wouldn’t necessarily think that the threat of species extinction could be a feminist issue, readers who would not on their own be able to link the past to the present, and people who are often desensitised to the world around them.’ Indeed, Decolonizing Extinction is a book that encourages the readers to question and rethink the issues surrounding extinction and conservation ranging from labour and care, climate and the Anthropocene, human and nonhuman relations, to decolonial and autonomy, and feminism and sexual violence – all this through a case study of an orangutan wildlife centre in Sarawak – in order to find new norms and practices to share this planet with ‘nonhuman others’.

Narawan Kyo Pathomvat

... decolonizing extinction requires a fundamental reorientation toward others, especially nonhuman others, in which we accept the risk of living together, even when others’ lives pose dangers to our own.