“Earthbound geographies” and Land-Based Activism: An Investigation of Relationships and Land Reform on the Isle of Eigg
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In this thesis, I explore the political possibilities opened up on Scotland’s Isle of Eigg in 1997 when the then-landlord-owned island was bought out in a community ownership scheme that has empowered islanders to step outside of conventional western property ownership, and begin to engage with the island as what Asch calls a relational other. I argue the island is best understood as a Deleuzian assemblage, an entity greater than the sum of its parts, that is perceived and related to by the islanders as an agential companion deserving of love and care. This perception engenders a rejection of western dominance-based thinking and generates more productive ways of moving forward, in the face of irreversible human-generated climate change, for western humans. The mode of relating to land on Eigg is reminiscent of indigenous lifeways and offers hope that more just relationships to the land may be possible for us all.