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   Beekeeping in the End Times

 

Mark

         












Beekeeping in the End Times is a place for storytelling bees in the context of ongoing, global and local ecological disasters.  

A companion to the book  and the documentary film, this site presents records and findings of the ethnographic research project, which Larisa Jasarevic, an anthropologist, has been conducting across Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 2014.  It conveys the local arts of beekeeping and storytelling  about and against the apocalypse.


The local bees and beekeepers are weathering climate extremes and altered seasons while seeking nectar flow far from pollution, often in the edgelands  of environmental contamination.  Catastrophic events and quieter disasters they experience are often referenced by the lessons and terms of  Islamic eschatology. 

Eschatology” refers to ultimate matters: death, the ruination of the planet, the finitude of the cosmos. The “end times” referred to here translates local terms (pred kijamet) and loan words from the more global, Islamic lexicon, such as ākhir al-zamān.

Eschatology makes one face the grave future prospects but also sharpens the questions about the human species’ ecological responsibility. While similar questions about uncertain futures preoccupy global and secular eco-thinkers, climate scientist and biologists, as well as lay publics concerned about the projected visions of the“world without bees,” an eco-eschatology comes with a deeper shade of concern. It suggests that ecology now can hardly be practiced with limitless optimism; an eschatological weariness may be long overdue.

The stories told in multiple media weave together Islamic and secular metaphysics―theories of what exists, how, and why ―while suggesting that contemporary beekeeping anywhere on our battered planet, is beekeeping in the end times. The project calls for a brave, dark thinking that begins with earnest questions: Can we listen to the stories of doom?  Can we plant a bee-friendly tree, even on the eve of Apocalypse?