Undisciplined Environments goes live

Undisciplined Environments – a platform for political ecology research and activism – has launched today, 1 October 2019

This novel effort is a collaboration between the ENTITLE Collective and the WEGO project, as well as other transnational networks – like the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN).

Undisciplined Environments (UE) aims to become an influential crossroads for activists, researchers, journalists and anyone interested in the mutual imbrications of power, society, culture and ecology. Our commitment is to establish UE as a compelling virtual space to share ideas, stories, concepts, methods and strategies for the elaboration of the knowledges and practices needed to build more emancipatory socionatural worlds.

WEGO members Panagiota KotsilaIlenia Iengo, Irene Leonardelli, Wendy Harcourt and Stefania Barca are on the editorial collective.

 

WEGO at the September climate marches

From 20-27 September 2019,  a record 7.6 million people took to the streets to strike for climate action. The biggest climate mobilisation in history.

Members of the WEGO community around the world joined the strikes

Nick Bourguignon joins the climate march in Barcelona: Photo: Nick Bourguignon

Marlene Gomez joins the climate march in Berlin Photo: Marlene Gomez
Enid Still joining the climate march in New Delhi. Photo: Christian Eichenmüller
Ilenia Iengo together with Stop Biocidio coalition at the climate strike in Naples, Italy. Photo: Daniele Valisena
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Outside Central Station, The Hague. Photo: Irene Leonardelli
Malieveld, The Hague. ‘I lost the ISS crowd but found my parents!’ Photo: Milja Fenger
Alice Owen and her little brother at the climate strike march in Brighton. Photo: Alice Owen
The youngest WEGO member, Sarah joining the youth climate strike march in Brighton. Photo from Sarah’s mom, Dian Ekowati

Field notes on the UN Climate Week in New York

‘UN Climate Week in New York City was incredibly challenging. I was invited to sit with leaders I admire from Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Seychelles, and elsewhere. I learned firsthand about their losses, dislocations, and pain, all driven by the climate crisis. I was once more shaken from the comfort of my home in Maine and brought face to face with the people who are suffering and who demand action. It was a stark reminder that islanders, who contributed at most 1 percent of the world’s human-driven impact on climate, are paying with their lives while the greatest polluters do not act.’

Read Rob Snyder’s full blog on the Island Institute website.

 

Post development and feminist political ecology

Ana Agostino was invited to a meeting at the University of San Martín in Buenos Aires, where Ana Ines Heras, from CERN network invited  her to talk on her work at the Defensoría and exchange on post development and feminist political ecology. A very interesting debate took place.

Within the framework of the Collaborative Research Programme Learning from and about Self-Managementand in agreement with the Institute for Social Inclusion and Human Development (INCLUIR), a meeting took place on September 27 at the University of San Martín in conversation with the former Public Protector of Montevideo*, Dr Ana Agostino.

The objective of the meeting was to exchange on projects associated to the research programme, on the framing of Community Economies, and on the activities implemented during the five years in the Defensoría in connection with her work as a researcher in different geographies of the world.

The topics presented as motivation for the exchange included a presentation on the Public Protector’s Office itself, its background, mandate, institutionality and strategies; the challenges presented by an intercultural approach to Human Rights; the concept of hospitality within the framework of a critical view of development and as a notion that allows other ways of being and doing in the world to be made visible and valued; the theoretical contribution of post development and feminist political ecology. In addition, several examples of concrete contributions to public policies were analysed, with an emphasis on sustainability, care, non-discrimination and citizen’s participation.

During the exchange, tensions were identified linked to the agency of several of these policies, the capacity for coordination between different actors, diverse imaginaries conditioned by culture, socio-economic factors, gender, identities, and institutional frameworks, among others. In general, the role of Public Protectors was valued as spaces for participation and the strengthening of democracy, leaving open the possibility for further debate on their institutional frameworks and possible mechanisms for greater citizen involvement.

*Defensora de Vecinas y Vecinos de Montevideo, Uruguay.

 

 

Diverse economies & arts based methods workshop

Wilding at a farm in Wageningen.

A group of fellow thinkers and travellers got together from 8-10 July for a workshop in Wageningen. They discussed their work as it relates to diverse economies and arts-based methods. Among them were WEGO members Chizu Sato, Wendy Harcourt and Nanako Nakamura. The workshop was held at the Centre for Space, Place and Society.

Wendy introducing the exhibition.

The workshop closed with a public art exhibition on  Other (food) + (art) economies are possible! where the group shared some of their individual and collective work in a convivial space with food and drinks and with time for chats with the wider public.

All photos by Wendy Harcourt

WEGO lead panel discussion at European Conference on Politics and Gender

WEGO was out in force at the European Conference on Politics and Gender which ran from 3 – 6 July in Amsterdam.

Wendy Harcourt, Gulay Caglar, Chizu Sato, Constance Dupuis Marlene Gomez and Nanako Nakamura were involved in several panel discussions at the Conference Below are abstracts from some of those panels.

Care and the Commons in Troubling times: confronting whiteness

Led by Constance Dupuis and Wendy Harcourt

Our paper looks at the everyday practice of feminist political ecology as not only practices rooted in one geographical place and culture but also as collective processes that are forming a global community network. We explore how feminist political ecology (FPE) aims to navigate racist structures, gender and class inequalities that determine struggles over rights and resources. Inspired by Donna Haraway’s staying with the trouble, our paper looks at how we confront whiteness in feminist political ecology. We address the ways in which white privilege and colonialism continue to be reproduced and how FPE can engage in critical conversations without centring the white experience.

Analyzing the Politics of the Everyday: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective

There is ample evidence that neoliberal restructuring has led to precarious living conditions as well as to environmental degradation, both of which negatively affect community well-being worldwide. In response, many alternative initiatives have mushroomed at community level that aim to counter neoliberal policies through changing everyday practices of care and natural resource management. Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) is an approach that analyses these practices by taking into account power relations within different systems of oppression at different scales. With an emphasis on the importance of embodiment, place and scale, FPE aims to unveil the processes through which different actors interact, and the strategies and political mechanisms that community initiatives use to challenge the existing power relations based on exploitation, domination, and conflict. This panel seeks to introduce the theoretical tenets of FPE and to show how FPE contributes to feminist political science. Papers will be analyzing different social movements and initiatives around issues of social and environmental justice, natural resource management and care.

WEGO workshop at the Environmental Justice Conference

Siti Maimunah and Alice Owen organised a workshop on 4 July 2019 to introduce the theoretical and methodological practices of Feminist Political Ecology to Environmental Justice research. This workshop was organised as part of the Environmental Justice Conference 2019: Transformative Connections.

Transformative Connections: Environmental Justice Conference

As well as pursuing transformations towards sustainability and environmental justice, FPE researchers are also pursing transformations of the ethics, methods, epistemologies and practices of research.

In this workshop participants were invited to join members and associates of the WEGO network to explore the key insights and perspectives that have come from the practices of doing FPE research. FPE researchers were invited to prepare short responses to questions which formed the basis of a facilitated discussion exploring key themes such as scholar-activism, ethics, scales and methods in relation to their work with struggles for environmental justice.

Connecting people photo from FPE to EJ workshop in UK by Siti Maimuna and Alice Owen

The discussion then broke off into a ‘world cafe’ where all participants  joined conversations exploring key themes and shared their own research experiences. The workshop was recorded with the intention that it can become a learning resource.

Conference Outputs

Connections photo from FPE to EJ workshop in UK by Siti Maimuna and Alice Owen

We have been working hard to update our Global Environmental Justice group website with some conference outputs, so please take a look.
You can view and download the graphic records at this UEA Global
Environmental Justice flickr page.
You can view the conference videos at the Environmental Justice
Conference 2019 playlist on YouTube. We are still in the process of
editing some of the sessions, they will be added to this list as they
are completed.
Some people had asked if the conference presentations would be available on the website. We have considered this and decided it won’t be possible. We would encourage delegates to contact specific presenters directly and request that presentations be shared that way. You can find contact email addresses for all presenters in the Abstract Book.

Background paper and follow up papers

The conference background paper remains on the conference website and please let us know if you have any particular feedback that you didn’t have a chance to share.
At the moment we have not planned any special issue publications but do feel free to pursue any ideas yourselves and let us know if we can
assist.

WEGO at the 1st Utrecht Degrowth Symposium

WEGO members attended the 1st Utrecht Degrowth Symposium on 28 June 2019

Living on a finite planet – Alternatives to economic growth

 

All photos by WEGO members

WEGO exhibition on Feminism, Politics and Coal Extraction

Extracting Us

Looking Differently: Feminism, Politics and Coal Extraction

11 -21 July at ONCA gallery Brighton

WEGO members Siti Maimunah, Rebecca Elmhirst, Dian Ekowati, Alice Owen, Elona Hoover and ONCA Gallery manager Lydia Heath are organizing and co-curating an exhibition which seeks to ‘look differently’ at the politics of coal extraction. Taking an intersectional approach, they will bring together feminism, ecology, climate change and politics. Presenting photographs from Indonesia, the exhibition will include a workshop, reading group, film screening and talk by an Indonesian scholar-activist to create a space for challenging ‘north-south’ narratives and practicing climate justice.

Events
  • Reading Group, 12 July 2019, time: 15.00 to 17.00
    This reading group is an invitation to “think with” the exhibition and screening of the documentary film “Sexy Killers”, which is being co-convened by Indonesian scholar-activist Siti Maimunah in partnership with JATAM (Indonesian mining advocacy group) and colleagues from the University of Brighton and University of Passau in Germany in the WEGO Feminist Political Ecology network. The exhibition seeks to look differently at the politics of coal extraction, exploring these through intersectional feminist political ecology with the aim of fostering thought, action and solidarity across spaces and generations.
    Reading: Ruder, Sarah-Louise, and Sophia Rose Sanniti. “Transcending the Learned Ignorance of Predatory Ontologies: A Research Agenda for an Ecofeminist-Informed Ecological Economics.” Sustainability 11, no. 5 (2019): 1479.
    The reading can be downloaded by free access here: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/5/1479
  • Launch event: Friday 12 July, 6 – 8pm FREE – ALL WELCOME
  • Sexy Killers: Film Screening and Talk, Wednesday 17 July, 6:30 -9:00 pm Tickets £6 (£3 conc.) available here
  • Writing postcard workshop with youth, Friday 19 July.

    Postcard Writing Workshop for Young People, Friday 19 July 2:00 – 4:00pm FREE

More information is available on Facebook and ONCA webpage

All photos by Siti Maimunah

This event is sponsored by:

 

Universitat Passau logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONCA is a Brighton based arts charity that bridges social and environmental justice issues. ‘With our public programme, we create inclusive spaces for collaborative learning, artist support and community solidarity.’

Strengthening communities

Suzanne MacDonald and Rob Snyder from Island Institute are presenting at “Strengthening Communities,” a conference in Aviemore hosted by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The Strengthening Communities Conference Scotland brings together people who are at the heart of community-led development. The inaugural event was held in September 2017 and the second conference took place at the end of May 2019 at the MacDonald Aviemore Resort.

Five years ago, the Island Institute added the banner “Strengthening Communities” to their website. And late last month, Rob found himself being escorted—by a bagpiper, no less—to a keynote speaking engagement at the second “Strengthening Communities Conference” in the Scottish Highlands.

The conversations that took place over four days in Scotland echoed conversations in Maine’s island and coastal communities. The Highlands has a workforce housing crisis, broadband infrastructure is lacking, “depopulation” threatens its vitality, and its communities also are being undermined by a lack of local input into how the ocean is being developed.

A scenic view of an island off Scotland. Photo: Yvonne Thomas

The 2019 conference offered an opportunity to share ideas and experiences on the issues that matter most in community development. Its theme this year was ‘Ionnsachadh is fàs le chèile’, ‘learning and growing together’.

For more information, read Rob’s blog on the Island Institute website