A pluriversity of points of view and practices for living territories

Punti di Vista(Italian for ‘points of view’) and its enchanting premises of the Franciscan convent overlooking the volcanic lake of Bolsena hold a special place in the story how WEGO came into being, as the idea to create an international research project in feminist political ecology was first discussed at a meeting there in Italy. And a few years later, here we are with WEGO in full swing, and Punti di Vista as one of its project partners!

Since 1993 the association Punti di Vista has been building a creative cultural space for civic groups, activists, scholars and artists to come together to imagine sustainable futures at the beautiful Convento S. Maria del Giglio in central Italy. Punti di Vista envisions itself as a ‘pluriversity’ and organises international youth exchanges, study trips, residential seminars, workshops and trainings, summer schools, cultural events and life-long education initiatives in collaboration with public administrations, both formal and informal, and grounded in environmental awareness, consumption and waste reduction, recycling of materials, biological and natural production and consumption as well as gender equality and international solidarity. Slow and ecological tourism – being situated along the pilgrim route Via Francigena, Punti di Vista also offers accommodation to those wanderers whose paths lead them through Bolsena.  

Since 1993 the association Punti di Vista has been building a creative cultural space for civic groups, activists, scholars and artists to come together to imagine sustainable futures at the beautiful Convento S. Maria del Giglio in central Italy. Punti di Vista envisions itself as a ‘pluriversity’ and organises international youth exchanges, study trips, residential seminars, workshops and trainings, summer schools, cultural events and life-long education initiatives in collaboration with public administrations, both formal and informal, and grounded in environmental awareness, consumption and waste reduction, recycling of materials, biological and natural production and consumption as well as gender equality and international solidarity. Slow and ecological tourism – being situated along the pilgrim route Via Francigena, Punti di Vista also offers accommodation to those wanderers whose paths lead them through Bolsena.  

Punti di Vista logo

Since 1993 the association Punti di Vista has been building a creative cultural space for civic groups, activists, scholars and artists to come together to imagine sustainable futures at the beautiful Convento S. Maria del Giglio in central Italy. Punti di Vista envisions itself as a ‘pluriversity’ and organises international youth exchanges, study trips, residential seminars, workshops and trainings, summer schools, cultural events and life-long education initiatives in collaboration with public administrations, both formal and informal, and grounded in environmental awareness, consumption and waste reduction, recycling of materials, biological and natural production and consumption as well as gender equality and international solidarity. Slow and ecological tourism – being situated along the pilgrim route Via Francigena, Punti di Vista also offers accommodation to those wanderers whose paths lead them through Bolsena.  

In 2019 WEGO mentor Sabrina Aguiari’s long standing collaboration with Tulane University New Orleans brought about in the celebration of the XII edition of their Summer School in Food Security and Resilience at Punti di Vista.

Katherine Gibson from Western Sydney University, a WEGO partner, and the Community Economies Research Network (CERN)have also been regular visitors at the convent, where in June 2019 they organised the first edition of the Community Economies Summer School: Postcapitalist Politics in Practicetogether with Sabrina, attended by PhD candidate Nanako Nakamura. Further weaving of WEGO network connections happened in August 2019 when Punti di Vista hosted a Feminist Writing Retreat during which young and experienced scholars and activists experimented with creative methodologies to collectively think-and-sense through the theory and practice of feminist political ecology. 4 of our WEGO PhD researchers reflect on their experience in this Undisciplined Environments blog post.

Participants of the feminist writing retreat at the convent. Photo: WEGO

Being based in Rome and only 2 hours from Bolsena, Anna had the privilege to spend time with Sabrina at the convent on several occasions since the start of WEGO. There she could get a glimpse of how a series of territorial struggles is unfolding behind the idyllic landscape of the lake and surroundings. Local environmental groups and activists are protesting against the expansion of chemical-intensive hazelnut monocultures, the planned megaproject of a geothermal energy plant and the environmental effects of an envisaged 5G telecommunication roll-out. They are contesting the extractivism afflicting their territory by coming up with creative ideas: Hanging bed sheets with messages of resistance and regeneration from balconies and trees, or organising a flash mob to ‘hug the lake’ by forming a human chain of bodies holding hands along the shores. 

Campaigning for solar energy, biodiversity, food sovereignty, water as a common good and participatory processes of local decision-making around the lake of Bolsena. Photo retrieved from: FB Abbraccio del Lago
Bed sheets turned into political banners. Photo: Anna Katharina Voss
Photo retrieved from: FB Abbraccio del Lago
Affective naturecultures in action – hugging the lake… Photo retrieved from: FB Abbraccio del Lago
Lago di Bolsena – a lake to love. Photo retrieved from: FB Convento S. Maria Del Giglio, Bolsena

A lake to hug and a lake to love – ‘un lago da amare’, that was the name of 3 weeks of environmental awareness activities Punti di Vista participated at, together with many other local groups and public administrations from the different municipalities around the lake in summer 2019. The health of the lake and its surrounding lands are intertwined – Sabrina and Anna have worked together on writing a proposal for an EU citizen science project to measure the risk of the lake’s glyphosate pollution from intensive agriculture, building on local environmental groups’ expertise such as BLEU Bolsena Lago de Europa. But as contract farming and monocultures are on the rise in the region, so are alternative networks of peasant agriculture, cultivating a radically different vision of the territory based on small-scale regenerative farming practices, agrobiodiversity, participatory guarantee systems, and regional farmers markets.

Local, fresh and ecological produce at the Xmas farmer market at the convent. Photos: Anna Katharina Voss

All roads lead to Rome, but Anna found that many also lead to Bolsena and the Tuscia region. When she first met some members of the farmers network Comunità Rurale Diffusa at the 3-day annual autumn meeting of the Italy-wide food sovereignty movement Genuino Clandestinoin Rome in October, during a chat she found out that they knew Sabrina and just a few days earlier they had thought of organising a market at the convent. And so it was, in December Sabrina and Anna got up early in the morning to help them set up their tables in the cloister. Fresh vegetables, bread, cheese, jams, honey but also baskets, clothes, lamps from local artisans, bookstands… and food, mulled wine and live accordion music. The convent was filled with people, young and old, bursting with conviviality in a lived counternarrative of care-full relationalities rooted in the territory.

More than just a market: local products, yoga, a recycling workshop for kids, food and live music. Photo retrieved from: FB Comunità Rurale Diffusa

The market continued to cultivate agri-culture in 2020 until Covid-19 has disrupted our lives and interrupted the activities at the convent. Also WEGO’s annual training lab was planned to be held at Punti di Vista in June 2020. Due to the health emergency and travel restrictions, we are forced to move our gathering to an online format but all hope to be able to come together at the convent again in the near future!

WEGO at the Degrowth Vienna 2020 conference on Strategies for Social-Ecological Transformation

Wendy Harcourt, Anna Katharina Voss and ISS MA graduate Rosa de Nooijer invite you to the presentation of our paper ‘Relations of Care: Ethics and Food Production in Europe’ at the upcoming Degrowth Vienna 2020 conference. In our presentation we explore how Covid-19 is redrawing our understanding of social reproduction and how care is part of the embodied labour of women and men engaging in alternative food production in rural landscapes in Italy and in the reclaimed territory of the Flevopolder in The Netherlands. We will give our talk at the panel ‘Territories, Resources and Care Work. Feminist Perspectives on Transformation’, convened by university lecturer, freelance author and scholar-activist Christa Wichterich.

relations of care
Source: Degrowth Vienna 2020 conference

Our collaborative session will look at everyday politics and practices of care work as counternarratives of resistance and regeneration emerging in territories menaced by resource extractivism, large dam construction and industrialisation of food in Africa, South America and Europe. We will be joined by Samantha Heargreaves from the African alliance of women against extractivism WoMin and her talk on ‘Extractivism, Women’s Care Work and the Right to Say NO’, and PhD candidate Camila Nobrega Rabello Alves who will speak about ‘Feminist Perspectives on the Social-environmental Conflicts of the Hydropower Dam São Luiz do Tapajós, Brazil: Shifting Narratives’.

As Covid-19 has disrupted our plans to travel to Vienna in person and instead to exchange our thinking and experiences in a virtual conference space, we will also reflect on how this unprecedent global health-and-beyond crisis has brought visibility to the essential and life-sustaining nature of care and care work, only reaffirming the urgency to think and act towards radical alternatives beyond the patriarchal-capitalist growth model. Following the single presentations there will be time for questions and we hope for a lively discussion with the audience. 

What: Panel ‘Territories, Resources and Care Work. Feminist Perspectives on Transformation’

When: 31 May 2020, 10-11:30am

Where: Online

For info and registration: https://www.degrowthvienna2020.org/en/

Video for presentation

We are running behind the farmers: mapping food, knowledge and care in Chennai, the peri-urban and beyond

In the city of Chennai, Restore, an established non-profit organic food store, has been working closely with and for farmers for over ten years. More than a ‘shop,’ this organisation has networks and connections that extend to both local farmers and farmers as far away as Bangalore and Ooty. These networks are not simple supply chains but flows where food, knowledge and care move back and forth between the urban, the rural and the spaces in between. 

To bring visibility to these flows, the farmers, the knowledge and the caring practices involved in building such connections, we are exploring the possibility of a collaborative counter-cartography project.

Following the work of Kollectiv Organgotango+ and contributors to the book ‘This is Not an Atlas’ (2018), the project adopts the term ‘counter-cartography’ to describe what will be a process of mapping human and more-than-human food relations and thus, making visible flows of knowledge and care in and around Chennai. Such flows or embodied connections of food, knowledge and care often obscured by positivist and capitalist representations of food networks and supply chain mappings. 

The first aim of the project is to give consumers who shop at Restore more information and understanding about their food and where it comes from, thus making visible the farmer, their labour and their knowledge. The second aim is to challenge the dominant processes and conceptions of capital market flows by demonstrating: (1) the mutual flows of knowledge between farmers and traders, (2) the care networks that are constituted between farmers and traders that disrupt market norms and (3) the caring relations that exist between humans and more-than-humans across urban and rural landscapes. The ‘map’ will intersect with the Tamil seasonal farming calendar to demonstrate and make visible the dynamic and circular flows of food, knowledge and care moving within space and through time.

This project note is part of my ongoing research with farmers and traders in Chennai, India. It was proposed and discussed with activists at Restore in Chennai a few days before I had to leave India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore still very tentative and has not moved beyond this first discussion in early March 2020. We are also in the process of translating the note into Tamil to share with farmers and other activists in and around Chennai.

Despite being at this very early and uncertain stage I wanted to share this with the WEGO network and other interested scholars working in collaboration with activist networks and using participatory mapping to invite feedback and reflections.
Enid Still

Ticking the box or designing for meaningful change?


Equity. It’s a concept that many value but can struggle to put into practice. When it comes to the state of Maine’s efforts to develop strategies to aggressively respond to climate change, what does it look like to design with a commitment to equity and to meeting the needs of all Mainers at the center?

While much of the world came to a screeching halt this spring, members of the Maine Climate Council’s working groups doubled down on their efforts to develop recommendations on how to reach the state’s climate goals. According to the Governor’s Office of Policy, Innovation, and the Future, the entity supporting the effort, more than 200 people across seven working groups participated in 30 meetings in April alone—an average of one per day—to refine strategies, review data, and make progress towards the early June deadline for submitting their recommendations to the Maine Climate Council.

Island Institute staff are pleased to serve on four of the Council’s subgroups (Science and Technical Subcommittee; Buildings, Housing and Infrastructure working group; Marine and Coastal working group; and the Community Resilience, Emergency Management, and Public Health working group), giving us unique insights into the cross-cutting nature of the Council’s work and the ways in which we can try to reflect the realities of Maine communities, large and small.

The legislation behind the Climate Council, LD 1679, calls for explicit consideration of rural communities; persons of low income and moderate income; economic sectors that face the biggest barriers to emissions reductions; vulnerable communities; and natural resource-based industries. The Climate Council’s plan must treat all Maine people “fairly and equitably” and must ensure “equity for all sectors and regions of the State.”

But as the working groups began to compare proposals, the question arose: “How do we know when we are making meaningful progress on equity and doing more than just ticking the box?”

At the Island Institute, we’ve seen first-hand how some of our state’s island and coastal communities can be —usually unintentionally—left behind by policy and program design that was built with a one-size-fits all approach. Research shows that these communities are unique due to their population size, demographics (primarily age), geography, and employment. Our collaborations with Maine communities have repeatedly shown that these realities can lead to obstacles when trying to access clean energy financing and other efforts to build resiliency in the face of climate change. Specifically, our 2018 Bridging the Rural Efficiency Gap white paper with the Maine Governor’s Energy Office highlighted the geographic, financial, and awareness gaps faced by residents of rural communities when trying to access energy efficiency programs.

This experience has increasingly led us to ask questions about other segments of Maine’s population – along the coast or in the interior – that may have a harder time helping to shape or equitably benefit from carbon reduction measures. How could we raise the concepts for the Council to consider, while grounding them in real stories of Mainers from across the state? 

On April 28, 2020, we partnered with Ania Wright to co-present to the Council’s Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Working Group to combine research and data with accounts of Maine communities and industries to illustrate how these concepts play out in Maine. Ania is the youth representative to the Climate Council, representing Maine Youth for Climate Justice and Island Institute partner, College of the Atlantic. In February 2020, we were honored to have her share her perspectives on the climate movement during this year’s Waypoints Forum, “Courageous Leadership in Disruptive Times.”

Youth involved with Maine Youth for Climate Justice share similar first-hand experiences to how certain groups are often left behind in policy decisions. Young people are at the frontlines of the climate crisis as they will be the ones to inherit our earth, and yet the urgency they bring to the table is not always heard. Additionally, they see the climate crisis for what it is, a failure of our societal systems, and not just an ecological crisis. Dealing with the climate crisis will take rethinking the way we solve problems. Part of that rethinking is around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In our presentation to the Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Working Group, we highlighted:

  • Vulnerable communities have already been, and will continue to be the most impacted by climate change.
  • Rural residents—who make up 61% of Maine, the highest rate in the nation—experience additional challenges of high energy costs and barriers to addressing them. Reliance on expensive heating fuel; an older housing stock; lower incomes; and higher numbers of mobile homes all contribute to a higher “energy burden,” or the percentage of household income spent on electricity and heating. Remote geography, lack of access to financing, and other barriers, can make it harder to access and pay for energy efficiency.
  • Natural resources-based industries such as fisheries and forestry are particularly vulnerable to climate change, due both to the impacts they are experiencing and their significant reliance on and challenges associated with moving away from fossil fuels. Equitable support for these culturally iconic and economically essential industries is key to successfully addressing climate change.
  • Addressing these inequities is possible and can effectively support vulnerable communities and everyone—e.g., by partnering with trusted messengers to go beyond traditional marketing channels; adding funding and flexible financing options; or addressing limitations in local capacity to plan and implement projects.

These lessons shared specifically with the Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing group are relevant to all the Maine Climate Council’s working groups striving to help Maine communities reduce our carbon pollution and adapt to the future impacts of a rapidly changing climate. By doing so with an eye toward equity, as required by the legislation that formed the Maine Climate Council, we can ensure that any actions taken by the state will benefit all Mainers, especially those on the front lines of climate change impacts.

We are encouraged by the Climate Council’s progress in these trying times. While we are all now focused on and experiencing the health and economic crises from COVID-19, we know that Maine people, and in particular our most vulnerable residents, will continue to be hit by increasingly strong storms, rising seas, uncertain growing seasons, and other impacts resulting from climate change. Our commitment now to basing recommendations on their realities will help to increase the likelihood that all Mainers will benefit from this work in the months and years ahead.

This piece was written in collaboration with Ania Wright of Maine Youth for Climate Justice and College of the Atlantic.

This article was originally published here

Media Attention to Five proposals from Academics to craft a radically more sustainable and equal world

Several WEGO member have contributed to a highly visible Manifesto by Dutch Academics that has been circulating in the highest circles in The Netherlands. One key question that people are interested in is the ‘how’ question: how to go about implementing the five proposals in the Manifesto. Together with many other communities, in the Netherlands and globally, the authors of the Manifesto believe the time is right for such a positive and meaningful vision going forward. The Manifesto urges politicians, policy-makers and the general public to start organizing for their implementation sooner rather than later.

  • The Netherlands-based scholars working on issues around development have put forward five key policy proposals for a post-COVID-19 development model, all of which can be implemented immediately and sustained after this particular crisis has subsided:
  • 1) a move away from development focused on aggregate GDP growth to differentiate among sectors that can grow and need investment (the so-called critical public sectors, and clean energy, education, health and more) and sectors that need to radically degrow due to their fundamental unsustainability or their role in driving continuous and excessive consumption (especially private sector oil, gas, mining, advertising, and so forth);
  • 2) an economic framework focused on redistribution, which establishes a universal basic income rooted in a universal social policy system, a strong progressive taxation of income, profits and wealth, reduced working hours and job sharing, and recognizes care work and essential public services such as health and education for their intrinsic value;
  • 3) agricultural transformation towards regenerative agriculture based on biodiversity conservation, sustainable and mostly local and vegetarian food production, as well as fair agricultural employment conditions and wages;
  • 4) reduction of consumption and travel, with a drastic shift from luxury and wasteful consumption and travel to basic, necessary, sustainable and satisfying consumption and travel;
  • 5) debt cancellation, especially for workers and small business owners and for countries in the global south (both from richer countries and international financial institutions).

The English text is now online via https://www.thebrokeronline.eu/in-this-rocky-boat-together/;  and the manifesto has been translated into Swedish, German, Spanish, Catalan, French and been in the news in many countries (like in Spain: http://esferapublica.org/nfblog/planificacion-post-corona-cinco-propuestas-para-construir-un-mundo-radicalmente-mas-sostenible-e-igualitario/  and Chili: https://www.elclarin.cl/2020/04/23/holandeses-avanzan-en-el-escenario-pospandemia-y-proponen-un-modelo-economico-basado-en-el-decrecimiento/);

Within The Netherlands there is now a lot of support for the manifesto including ecologists, plant scientists, epidemiologists, economists and others. Here is where the manifesto has been circulating among industry and policy circles:


Regenerative practices of care during and beyond the pandemic

Arundhati Roy, in her widely circulated 3 April 2020 Financial Times piece ‘The pandemic is a portal’, argues that the pandemic offers us a chance to think about the world anew, ushering in a new era. I, hope with Roy, that the pandemic becomes understood as a historic breakdown of capitalist logic which demands a new type of life-world where caring and the commons. And I ask, with her, what could be the basis of a new regime of social reproduction that can sustain human and other life?

These questions I ask myself, somewhat foggily, as I navigate ideas for a new regime via my screen and zooms, at my desk here in Rome. In this global pandemic, the State has found a new place in our lives here in Europe, restricting our once (apparently) free lives. And, importantly, even for those who could not see it before, there is now ample evidence of the failure of capitalism to provide care for citizens, despite Europe’s wealth and privilege.

My mind turns frequently to Bolsena, Italy, where I am a member of a small community-based organisation Punti Di Vista. In this tiny hamlet perched on a volcanic lake, histories of epidemics have come and gone. New eras have been ushered in by the Romans, the Catholic Church, land owners, and the modern Italian state. The deep blue volcanic lake which, I miss, has seen the redrawing of boundaries of wealth, territory, resources, and knowledge that have protected some and have abandoned others. Even though I am far from the lake, I take heart from its quiet peaceful presence in my memories to keep hope.

We are living in a period where we are rapidly redrawing how we understand care. The act of care, who cares, who is cared for, has become visibly part of the biopolitics of State control of their population’s life and death. The biopolitics of the emerging economics of Covid-19 has exposed the inability of the current neoliberal global regime to secure life with justice. The care and the health of populations is mitigated by deep economic and political rifts marked by gender, age and race.

These days I am often left reeling – how do we deal with the sudden expansion of coercion and surveillance that leads to such inequity and exclusions. How do we cope as we are suddenly forced to consider how can care of self is carried out as the virus connects us in ways we cannot see. We are asked to applaud but cannot protect the care givers. I continue to wonder what solidarity on-line or with physical distance means.

In Corona times what was once ordinary has become about life or death, – washing hands, getting medical supplies, distributing protective equipment, harvesting and delivering food delivery, caring for children, supporting the sick and elderly. Our principles of care work (now seen as essential work) have expanded to include workers who maintain collective life on all levels – from medical staff to those supplying food, milk, sanitation, electricity, connectivity. We live with intimate governmental intervention that controls our movements in the home, in shops, schools, work places, and tells us the safe ways to care (physical distance, masks). Covid-19 asks us to rethink everyday strategies of care and responsibility.

Judith Butler’s beautiful piece in Con Tactos(21 April 2020) on Human Traces on the Surfaces of the World complicates our need to rethink further. The pandemic materially asks us to care for ourselves and others as we shield ourselves with masks and soap, as we stay home, learn to work and connect via the Internet. We are now acutely aware of the material objects which sustain, and create our social relations – the surfaces of things that determine how we connect – the plastics, packaging, stairwells, seats, walls, pavements, the particles in the air we breathe. These objects are all entangled in our means of production and social production, determining life and death. We now feel ourselves vulnerable as we touch, brush past, breathe,we feel our susceptibility to what lives on the surfaces of the objects that pass between us. As Butler states:

“The virus lands on, enters, one bounded body and departs to land on the skin of another or on an object, looking for a host —the surface of a package, the porous material of a shared world”.

The question is whether we can live with these new ways of connection and in so doing usher in a new era where that can not only unmask but break the inequalities which underscore global capitalism. How to move beyond the deep multifaceted inequalities which have so clearly emerged with the pandemic and work towards maintaining communities that are organising and giving shape to solidarities that are based on care?

In rethinking social reproduction, that is by putting care centrally to our economic and health systems, we can help to end extractivism, fight exploitative production and environmental damage, oppose sexism and racism. In working against systemic inequalities we can learn from the pandemic about how our human and more than human lives are bound up together in the material relations of production and social reproduction that connect us across territories, languages, bodies and cultures.

I would like to conclude by returning to the lake of Bolsena. The lake is regenerating. The stop to tourism has meant less waste, less plastics are entering the lake. Some communities of care, families, clusters of farmers, shop owners are weathering the pandemic. Those outside remain connected. The birds continue to sing, and spring has unfurled. So, what could a new era mean for that territory? What new values of care are possible? Economically, there is a sense of change, as some products went on line, some compensation offered, but there is a sense of deep waiting now, a wariness of what is to come, how the town, dependent on tourism, the selling of local wines and food cultures will survive a pandemic, this time round.


Academia in the time of Covid-19

Members of the WEGO network actively supported the article ‘Academia in the time of COVID-19: Our chance to develop an ethics of care’. Based on the insights and comments received by the authors they extend their views in an Open Access article published in the journal Planning Theory and Practice.

Find the article here: https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2020.1757891

Forest Communities and Palm Oil: Film Screening and Discussion

On 28 November 2019, WEGO PhD Dian Ekowati hosted a film screening and discussion on forest communities and palm oil that explored loss of forest cultures and livelihoods in Borneo. The screening included conversations with artist Deru Anding and Professor Rebecca Elmhirst of University of Brighton’s Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics.

This was within the Generations programme for Lost Species Day 2019, with the series of films shown on the night exploring research by University of Brighton and CIFOR into issues related to care, gender and youth in the expansion of oil palm in Indonesia. The screening took place at the ONCA Gallery in Brighton, UK.

Dian presented the film with the following text:

My research will explore care in an oil palm community in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Unpacking how the community sustains life after the oil palm monoculture crop or, some would call, ruin. 

The movie that we will show today isn’t necessarily framed to answer the care question. But we can see clearly that care is an integral part of community’s everyday life. As the movie also show, I want to see more how the community juggle their care to children, family and environment after their oil palm drastically change their landscape. Or in other words, how oil palm alter the practice of care in the community’s everyday life. This question especially come up after seeing that most research are more on economics side. I want to see something that is beyond economy. And furthermore I want to see more on smallholders oil palm. I hope to be able to do start my field work next year sometime in April.

The movie is an outcome of gender and oil palm research we did on oil palm and gender in 2017. One of the question the research was trying to reveal how oil palm affect people life differently between women and men, different ethnicity and social class. An attempt after seeing many oil palm research rarely see gender. It was research collaboration between Becky from University of Brighton, colleagues from CIFOR and University of Indonesia. I was part of the team from CIFOR.

Back to the movie, it aims to provide insights on how complex the narratives of oil palm is. Community is not necessarily against oil palm per se. But they against the way in which they were incorporated into oil palm; on land acquisition, on employment condition for instance. On large scale oil palm company land acquisition for instance, the company has secured “right” over the and from the government before entering negotiation with the community. So the level of playing field is totally different there.

The first and second movie show how women employed by the same company experienced differ due to of their age, status of local or migrant, and term in employment. The third movie shows the local community aspiration to plant oil palm in their own plot.

As I mentioned before, care is there. I do not want to talk too much for now, let’s enjoy the movie. See it, feel it, and we can probably have a conversation on care in oil palm, on life under the oil palm canopy.

Further reading

Rebecca Elmhirst (Elmhirst, Siscawati, Basnett, & Ekowati, 2017)Elmhirst, R., Siscawati, M., Basnett, B. S., & Ekowati, D. (2017). Gender and generation in engagements with oil palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: insights from feminist political ecology. Journal of Peasant Studies44(6), 1137–1159. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2017.1337002

Li, T. M. (2018). Evidence-based options for advancing social equity in Indonesian palm oil Implications for research , policy and advocacy. (208). https://doi.org/10.17528/cifor/006842

Care – extra care

I’m trying hard to sleep, seeing my dear 18 month-old daughter finally fall asleep. I am exhausted, tried to sleep, but instead my mind travelled far to where I started my journey as a PhD with WEGO. Here are some reflections of that time. I remembered that soon after I got shortlisted as a candidate in the project, I found out that I got pregnant with my second child. My first one was 7 years old and while we had been trying to have another one the last 1,5 years, nothing happened. And therefore, getting the news was really surprising. 

Before I knew it, I got the position. Only with the support of my current supervisor, I managed to start my PhD, but with a delayed start, an initial visa refusal drama and a big move to UK with my husband and 2 kids (one was 4 months old). I wouldn’t have been able to get myself together if not for the kindness and care from my colleagues in the university, the project, my neighbours, and new friends I found in Brighton. They literally have gone extra miles, far beyond their responsibility. I remember when my project manager dropped in to our place in our first evening in our “Brighton home” and gave us a rug, blanket and a cot while we’re still waiting for the bed to be delivered from the preloved-charity shop we bought them from. I remember how long the chain was of my supervisor’s email trying to work out finance to help me out with the big move. I remember how my new neighbour helped us with the practical elements of the move. And also how one of the friends in WEGO got me to gather myself together when I found out one of our dearest family passed away while I was alone in Brighton before my family joined me. Then finally I remember how a parent in my son’s school took my son to the cinema and watch his very first movie in Brighton.

So much has happened, great and not-so-great things I did not foresee would happen, but what I learned is that here and there, many people will help when you reach out. Therefore, despite the rollercoaster, I have no regrets, it’s all worth it. Even if I found that my project often came last and needed to wait for the end of the day to be touched.

But I wouldn’t be here (and my kids would not have enjoyed the nice kebab in this photo next to an intriguing museum in Brighton) if not because of this support system, the care of those lovely people. Thank you!

Decolonial Feminism and Feminist Political Ecology

Marlene Gómez presented the theme: “Decolonial Feminism and Feminist Political Ecology” in the seminar “Philosophy and Science” of the Earth Sciences career at the National University Autonomous of Mexico last 5thof May 2020.  

Decolonial Feminism and Feminist Political Ecology

During this session a brief introduction was given to the waves of feminism, black feminist thought, intersectionality and the matrix of power theory to later explain the decolonial feminism of Latin America and how Feminist Political Ecology can contribute to it. The speaker explained that decolonial feminism is an ontological and epistemological framework that seeks the decolonisation of power from a world-system perspective, which authors such as Yuderkis Espinosa, Ochy Curiel, and Margara Millán mention is based on the imposition of a modern, Eurocentric, patriarchal and colonial capitalist thought. Feminist political ecology in this context could help us to understand the power relations that exist between nature and the patriarchal structures that constrain the free access and transformation of nature, as well as the depredation of nature and territories in hands of foreigner companies. It was conclude that a permanent critique of the academy would allow a transition to an ontology and epistemology more sensitive to social problems and would give voice and space to other knowledge that is produced from a bottom-up perspective or a community-based one.

Decolonial Feminism and Feminist Political Ecology