Maras Descent / 2019 / 4 min

Mara, a white-tailed sea eagle, soars near the invisible border in Northern Ireland with a miniature camera on her back. From this vantage point, she becomes an instrument of surveillance, capturing nature, both human and nonhuman. Her ease of travel over historically contested geographies points to the arbitrary and temporary character of man-made borders, as well as to the unnatural hierarchies that citizenship imposes on peoples’ movement. Natural law, on the other hand, seems to cut across the dividing lines of states and species. As Mara begins her descent to Grianán of Aileach (Temple of the Sun) — the ancient ring fort located five kilometres from the contested Irish border — we are reminded of humanity’s age-old tendency to fabricate walls, fences, ditches, and a range of other boundaries and barriers.