Rimona Afana 2020

Romania and Palestine, Ph.D, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, Visiting Scholar, Emory University School of Law, Vulnerability Initiative, USA

Ecocide, Speciesism, Vulnerability: Revisiting Positive Peace in the Anthropocene

Rimona Afana


Peace research needs to revisit the anthropocentric foundations of our individual beliefs and communal structures. This ethos drives my examination of the ties between ecocide and speciesism, through vulnerability theory. Speciesism, as a form of discrimination, manifests as violence against “inferior” non-humans. Since speciesism and its deriving violence are structural globally, discussions of justice and peace in the Anthropocene cannot obscure how speciesism marks our everydayness. I explore the speciesist substrata of environmental harm and the contours of critical ecocide jurisprudence by combining cross-disciplinary research (environmental ethics, green criminology, climate and conservation psychology, peace studies, critical legal theory, environmental law, international criminal law), expert interviews surfacing contested interpretative terrains, multimedia artwork, and online community engagement. Internalizing the brutal evidence of human impact on our common home, I seek to unearth the consequences of interdependence and hierarchy. This project invites me/us to wonder–worry.


Dr. Rimona Afana is a Visiting Scholar with the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative (Emory University School of Law, Atlanta.) Her work integrates cross-disciplinary research, civic activism, and multimedia artwork to track how meaning is created, institutionalized, and contested on violent conflicts, state crimes, colonial legacies, and environmental harms. Rimona is working on two book projects: one revisits through vulnerability theory her doctoral findings on the justice–reconciliation nexus in Palestine/Israel; the other project looks at how jurisprudence can engage with the ties between ecocide and speciesism. Her PhD, concluded in 2017 at the Transitional Justice Institute in Northern Ireland, examined the synergies, tensions, and tradeoffs between justice and reconciliation in the (com)promised lands, documenting the challenges presented by settler–extractive colonialism to transitional justice. Over the past fifteen years she has been active civically, mainly in Europe and the Middle East, on human rights, peacebuilding, international justice, corporate accountability, and public health. Aside from research and activism, she encrypts rootlessness–transience–dissonance in words and visuals: poems, flash fiction, photography, drawing, painting, collage, and audio–video collaborations.