When the Forest Burns takes a look at the megafire phenomenon: gigantic, unpredictable, and incontrollable wildfires, veritable symbols of the Anthropocene. Fire is caused as much by humans as by nature and, under the philosopher’s gaze, becomes a social phenomenon and a political object. Even if controlling fire has always been central to the civilising process, megafires stand apart due to their intensity, speed of propagation, reach, recurrence and especially their unrivalled environmental and human impact. They thus offer a perfect vantage point for exploring the relationship between humans and nature, and the conditions for safeguarding human existence.
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Joëlle Zask is a philosopher and professor at Aix-Marseille University. A specialist in political philosophy and translator of the works of John Dewey, her work focuses on the cultural context underpinning our understanding…