Kashubian Lake Calling

The Posthuman as Care and Stimmung

Keywords: posthuman, Kashubia, Stimmung, sensory ethnography, tipping lake, pollution


This study leads the reader to some remote Kashubian villages, located on the shores of Lake Słupino, Poland. The residents of these villages have witnessed uncanny transformations of their once familiar lake in recent years. Through changes in color, odor and matter, Słupino has obtruded itself to call out the problem of pollution. How does the lake express itself? How does it affect the everyday life of the inhabitants? To approach the specific interaction between the lake and the inhabitants (thus non-human and human), the author conducted sensory ethnography and conversed with residents affected by the problem. The categories call, care and Stimmung are used to analyze the gathered empirical material. These categories enable a variety of perspectives on the phenomenon and, thus, let us approximate what can be characterized as posthuman: First, the lake-problem is viewed from the activity of the calling lake, and then the argumentation is built up from the activity of the caring inhabitants. Finally, both perspectives are integrated with the category Stimmung, into which the lake and the inhabitants are immersed. The present study shows that the posthuman is not merely an artificial category but can be found in the research field by an (European) ethnologist, as intersecting with everydayness, memory and activity and, thus, be perceived from an emic perspective.

Label for peer-reviewed scholarly publications
Dec 22, 2020
How to Cite
Murawska, O. (2020). Kashubian Lake Calling: The Posthuman as Care and Stimmung. Ethnologia Fennica, 47(2), 77-102. https://doi.org/10.23991/ef.v47i2.88196