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Abstract

“Pumpkin” follows 5ze’s coming-of-age experiences with an earth of the future. The community knowledge keeper pairs 5ze with pumpkin during an important communal ceremony. The story tracks 5ze’s invitation to be with pumpkin and the transformative process of living in a shared, entangled common world. The story takes place in the future, after the Abaporu, an anthropocentric process, when humans devoured each other, through greed and individualism, resulting in physical, social, biological changes for all species. Behaviours, movements and relations complexify 5ze’s understanding of existing as they learn from pumpkin, mushroom and Shiksha, a time of deep instruction. For 5ze, understanding how to be with means connecting with pumpkin not just as food but as friend, neighbour and kin. 5ze’s initial disappointment with their pairing grows into a complicated awakening of relations with a more-than-human world.

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