Reflecting on the intersections between water flows and people flows: fieldwork report from Irene Leonardelli in India

At the moment I am doing my secondment at SOPPECOM, an NGO based in Pune (India). SOPPECOM is committed to support the most disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the population – especially women, dalits, landless in the rural area of Maharashtra- promoting practices of sustainable use of land and water resources, collaborating with grassroots groups and conducting research and advocacy work. I am learning a lot from their work and their experiences, especially from their action research programmes. At the same time, they are helping me developing my PhD research and collecting preliminary data.
A woman farmer showing the marigolds she cultivates in open fields, in her village close to Pune. Photo: Irene Leonardelli

With my research I focus on floricultures to disentangle processes of agrarian restructuring and water re-allocation provoked by the intensification of agriculture in Maharashtra, from a feminist critical perspective. Currently, I am trying to map the floricultural landscape of Maharashtra, learning about farming practices and water sources and uses, the history of this business and the values and symbols attached to flowers.

Gerberas cultivated in poly houses in Pune. Photo: Irene Leonardelli

I am reflecting on the intersections between water flows and people flows, about gendered labour relations and consumption patterns, about all the different stories and voices that compose this reality… how to make sense and co-narrate all of this, in a self-reflective, non-extractive way? Many threads tangling in my mind: it is challenging but also very fascinating and inspiring…

* Irene Leonardelli‘s research topic is Virtual water flows: re-articulating gendered structures of accumulation along emerging agro-food commodity chains in Maharashtra, India.

WEGO lead panel discussion at European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG)

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 and Marlene Gómez 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.

European Conference on Politics and Gender starts in Amsterdam

The European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG) has started  in Amsterdam. The event is hosted by The Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) and runs until Saturday 6 July.

WEGO members Wendy Harcourt, Gulay Caglar, Chizu Sato, Constance Dupuis and Marlene Gómez are participating in the conference.

 

Introducing WEGO-ITN

Image by Emma Claire Sardoni

Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity – Innovative Training Network

1 January 2018 to 31 January 2022

How is gender linked to environmental problems and developmental issues? How are feminist political ecologists working with local communities around the world? How can their activities inform sustainable development policy debates?

With funding by the European Union the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska – Curie WEGO network made up of 18 institutions will host 15 Ph.D researchers creating the first European ITN on Feminist Political Ecology (FPE).

As the first international feminist political ecology research network of its kind, WEGO-ITN aspires to tackle socio-ecological challenges linked to policy agendas. This innovative and path-breaking project will help local communities to build resilient, equitable and sustainable futures. The goal of WEGO-ITN is to provide research that will demonstrate to policy makers how communities actively sustain and care for their environment and community well-being. Ultimately, WEGO will collectively provide important guides to strategies of resilience and sustainability that are required for meeting the SDGs.

The WEGO-ITN is made up of scholar-activists working on feminist political ecology from ten institutions in five European Union countries: Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom and eight institutions from seven countries for training and secondments: Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Uruguay and USA.

On March 8th 2018 students, staff and policy makers from around the Netherlands joined international guests from Uruguay, Norway, UK, USA, Germany, France, Italy and Australia in launching this innovative research project.

Introducing WEGO-ITN

Image by Emma Claire Sardoni

Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity – Innovative Training Network

1 January 2018 to 31 January 2022

As the first international feminist political ecology research network of its kind, WEGO-ITN aspires to tackle socio-ecological challenges linked to policy agendas. This innovative and path-breaking project will help local communities to build resilient, equitable and sustainable futures. The goal of WEGO-ITN is to provide research that will demonstrate to policy makers how communities actively sustain and care for their environment and community well-being. Ultimately, WEGO will collectively provide important guides to strategies of resilience and sustainability that are required for meeting the SDGs.

The WEGO-ITN is made up of scholar-activists working on feminist political ecology from ten institutions in five European Union countries: Germany, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom and eight institutions from six countries for training and secondments: Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Uruguay and USA.