In Earth-belly. An Organic Approach to Metropolisation

  • Marine Legrand Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech
Keywords: Ecofeminism, ecopoetry, Mother-earth, metropolisation, soil, digestion


      By means of a drifting navigation through the Parisian metropolis, this text explores the symbolic and material intersections of the human belly and the earth, in an urban context. It examines the circulation, within and across the city, of some of the materials that shape this territory: from subterranean public transportation, to the excavation of soils and rocks, and the assimilation of nutrients in the bodies of city dwellers. The earth is considered as the ground under our feet, as the planet itself, as a multiple entity, which both devours, swallows, and is digested by the metropolis that extends on its surface. At the same time, this exploration also asks what power the human belly, as a place and environment, silently hides and conceals. The characters involved, both contents and containers, transport the reader from one scale to another, from the smallest cell in the body of a singular organism to the matter of an entire region. This exploration is part of a series of textual experiments that adopt a poetic approach to address the complexity of ecological phenomena and the imaginaries associated with them. Leaving room for chaos, the goal is to present such phenomena as they traverse human terrains, intimately slipping from one dimension to another, from the large to the small, from the symbolic to the material, from the scientific to the felt. Focusing on food and digestive functions, this essay pays careful attention to the dialogue between the earth and the human belly and engages with the figure of Mother Earth without reducing it to an essentialized femininity. Ultimately, this essay aims to address contemporary environmental issues by way of a renewed approach to the body as relational matrix.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Marine Legrand, Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech

Research and animation fellow, OCAPI Program, Laboratoire eau environnements systèmes urbains

Articles: Ecological In(ter)ventions in the Francophone World