What does legal visibility for a termite look like?
“We do not see liminal animals when thinking and talking about design and governing our societies. For example urban design, if ever gives consideration of human decisions on liminal animals, and urban planners are rarely trained to consider these issues.”
- Donaldson and Kymlicka, 2011
Termites, like rats and pigeons, are considered pests, vermin and parasites. Their inconvenience and out of placeness rationalizes their mistreatment within the context of urban space. To combat this human violence, animal theorists call for denizenship; a term used for humans, (usually refugees or immigrants) when entering a new community. Denizenship re-conceptualises liminal species to “belong here among us, but are not one of us”; a looser relationship, that preserves some distrust whilst still legally legitimising their existence (Donaldson and Kymlicka, 2011). Applying this understanding this project filters a termite’s natural habitat through current UK planning regulations with the aim to gain legal residency within human designated territories. In doing so it reveals the inherently anthropomorphic policies that inform certain societal approaches when regarding interspecies relationships.
This document is a collection of responses from uk planning offices suggesting ways in which legal residency could be achieved.