18. 2. 2022

Presentation at the 2nd Congress of Catalan Anthropology

Presentation at the 2nd Congress of Catalan Anthropology


On January 28, 2022, Aníbal Arregui participated at the 2nd Congress of Catalan Anthropology with a presentation entitled “Cerdos reversibles: ecologías infra-especie y el desgobierno socionatural de Barcelona” (Reversible pigs: infraspecies ecologies and the socionatural ungovernance of Barcelona).

The conference was organized by the Catalan Institute of Anthropology and diverse local universities. The full program of the event can be found in the conference website (



When wild boar became unexpected neighbours in suburban Barcelona, nobody thought they would soon begin to explore central districts as well. Today, conservationists are trying to reverse the situation by removing wildlife from the city. By contrast, suburban dwellers – who come across wild boar on a daily basis – opt for attuning to the “reversibility” of the pigs themselves: in quotidian encounters, people consider that these animals can switch between contrasting qualities, such as wild–tame, rural–urban, or pest–neighbour. Far from being stabilized as species attributes, these relational features emerge or recede as a result of practical, creative, and risky arrangements between particular pigs and particular persons. In this essay, I adopt an “infraspecies” ethnographic angle to show how, below the species threshold, reversible attributes can repurpose an ecology from an intimate scale of human-animal relations.