Fatal Masculinities: A Queer Look at Green Violence

Scott Burnett, Tommaso M. Milani


The militarized response to the rhino poaching crisis in southern Africa exposes poachers to “fatal couplings of power and difference” (Gilmore 2002). While the racialized dimensions of this phenomenon are currently the subject of robust debate, this paper focuses on how race, gender, and sexuality are co-constructed in the anti-poaching discourse. Bringing the work of geographer Ruth Wilson Gilmore into conversation with Frantz Fanon’s psycho-existential exposition of race, we read several campaign texts against their landscapes, revealing the role that gendered constructions of racial subjects play in justifying the extrajudicial killing of rhino poachers. We conclude that a geographic-linguistic approach to textual analysis usefully exposes the interconnectedness of gender, race, and sexuality at the heart of a modern conservationist campaign, and suggest that this framework complements queer geographic and intersectional approaches to racism.


Rhino poaching; South Africa; green violence; linguistic landscapes; Frantz Fanon; Ruth Wilson Gilmore

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ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies - ISSN: 1492-9732