Fishy refraction

A concept I mobilize in my work is the notion of ‘fishy refraction‘ (Todd cited in Picard 2016, Todd 2018), that is, the co-constitutive engagement between fish, water, air, and humans that occurs at the air water interface. Through this notion of ‘fishy refraction’, and the concomitant action of dispersion (the scattering of rays of light through a prism), I explore the labour that is performed between bodies, beings, space, and time in order to engage across simultaneous sameness and difference. A rather grandiose way of saying — you can’t catch a fish unless you understand that water bends rays of light, which means that a fish isn’t where it appears to be to our human eyes (and that moments of engagement are transformed in the process of bending and scattering of rays of light across the air-water interface).

I explore this concept in the following pieces:

  1. Todd, Zoe. (2018). “Refracting the State Through Human-Fish Relations: Fishing, Indigenous Legal Orders and Colonialism in North/Western Canada”. DIES: Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education, and Society 7(1): 60-75.
  2. Picard, Caroline. 2016. “The Future is Elastic (But it Depends): An Interview with Zoe Todd”.
  3. Todd, Zoe. 2016. “Fish pluralities, refraction and decolonization in amiskwaciwâskahikan” with Zoe Todd”