Recommendations developed by the WEGO-ITN network.
Environmental problems are very complex and concrete. They are related to conflicting interests at local and national level and it leads to a fragmentation of policy making. Therefore, more integration and coordination among different levels of environmental governance is needed, with particular attention to the consultation of local communities and authorities.
Free, prior and informed consent of affected populations should always be sought before implementing projects and building new infrastructures that have a strong impact on the environment and the life of communities.
Women are the first to notice when there is damage to the environment, listening to their demands is fundamental and women’s actions of resistance and change in their territories and their creativity in responding to the climate challenge should be valued.
Policy makers should identify political figures working on the environment who work in a gender perspective to build mainstream gendered environmental policy.
Policy makers should collect data and develop researches on heavily contaminated areas and ensure these data are publicly available and disaggregated by gender and age
Accountability for environmental crimes with serious consequences for the health of people and the environment is insufficient. It is necessary to update the legal framework in which economic activities are developed, to better protect the environment. The protection of the environment should be at the centre of policies relating to business and human rights and an effective and continuous monitoring of the work of polluting companies must be carried out.
States should facilitate collaboration among institutions to better protect the environment and people’s health, including women’s sexual and reproductive health, and ensure that national health policies be designed paying attention to the social and environmental determinants of health and gender.
States must stop investing in infrastructure for the exploitation of fossil fuels
Policy makers should promote training courses on environmental issues, especially in the territories most affected by pollution and climate change
States should identify local weaknesses, such as, for example, the strength of organised crime and its ability to deeply damage the environment and the health of people and strengthen their actions to address them.
Dupuis, C., Harcourt, W., and Gaybor Tobar, J (ongoing, ed.), Feminist methodologies – experience, and reflection in the series ‘Gender, Development and Social Change’,London: Palgrave.
Maimunah, S., ‘Doing’ PhD research in the Global South: ethicalities of care, reciprocity and reflexivity, by Maimunah, S., Still, E., and Milora, C. (UEA) first draft research ethics sponsored by EADI.
Padmanabhan, M. , Affects affecting feminist family fieldwork – staying collaboration troubled in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In: Harcourt, W. ed. Feminist methodologies – experience, and reflection in the series ‘Gender, Development and Social Change’.
Sato, C. and Tufour, T.. Migrant women’s labour: sustaining livelihoods through diverse economic practices in Accra, Ghana. In: Gibson-Graham, J. K. and Dombroski, K. eds. The Handbook of Diverse Economies. Cheltenham: Elgar Publishing.
File name : 2020-Journal-Reflecting-on-the-ethics-of-PhD-research-in-the-Global-South.pdf
Voss, A. K., Harcourt, W., and de Nooijer, R , ‘Relations of care: ethical food production in Flevoland, The Netherlands and Tuscia, Italy’, paper to be presented at the Sixth Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network, Bonn, Germany, 28-30 July 2020.
Maimunah, Siti (2020) Co presenter with Tracy Glynn (University of New Brunswick Canada) at European Association of Social Anthropologis (EASA) Conference, Lisboa 2020, “No One Can Say the Karonsi’e Dongi Were Not Here”: A Photovoice Study of Gendered Resistance to Mining in Indonesia, 22-26 July 2020. https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/easa2020/paper/53165
Elmhirst, R. 2018 ‘Ecologías políticas feministas: perspectivas situadas y abordajes emergentes [Feminist Political Ecologies – Situated Perspectives, Emerging Engagements] Ecologia Politica,No.54. Special Issue on Ecofeminism (“Ecofeminismos”), https://www.ecologiapolitica.info/?p=10162.
Nightingale, A. J., Lenaerts, L., Shrestha, A., Lama ‘Tsumpa’, P.N., Ojha, H.R. 2019, ‘The material politics of citizenship: struggles over resources, authority, and belonging, in the new Federal Republic of Nepal’. In:The special issue on Social and Political Transformation in Nepal, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies,vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 886-902, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00856401.2019.1639111.
Mehta, L. 2019, ‘Keynote speaker: Climate change, uncertainty and the city: challenges and opportunities for transdisciplinary co-production and transformation’, paper presented at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, 17 October 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJnIpPts-gs.
Dupuis, C., and Harcourt, W. 2019, ‘Care and the commons in troubling times: confronting whiteness’,paper presented at the European Conference on Politics and Gender, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 4-6 July 2019.
Sato, C. and Bergeron, S. 2019, ‘Rethinking the socio-ecological relations of care and commoning: engaging Feminist Political Ecology and Feminist Global Political Economy approaches to social reproduction’, paper presented at the European Conference of Politics and Gender, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 4-6 July 2019.
Still, E. 2019, ‘Beyond networks and chains, towards webs of relation: food, belonging and care in the city’, paper presented at the RC21 Delhi: Informal networks, urban coalitions and governance in South Asia, New Delhi, India, 18-22 September 2019.
Shrestha, A. 2019, ‘Nation without government: how is governing achieved in Nepal?’, paper presented at the sixth annual Governance at the Edge of the State Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 28-30 August 2019.
In our two-fold event “Feminist Political Ecology and Liveable Cities: Transatlantic Dialogues”, collectively organized by WEGO-ITN PhD’s and mentors in Barcelona and Montevideo, amongst other invitees and participants from grassroots organisations, we engaged with policymakers from Europe and Latin America to discuss feminist and ecological strategies in urban and regional planning:
– Silvana Pissano, the mayor of Municipio B in Montevideo
– Amaranta Herrero, coordinator of Barcelona City Council’s project ‘Barcelona World Capital of Sustainable Food 2021’
– Laia Forné Aguirre, urban sociologist and planner who has worked in public administration and as advisor for participatory processes at Barcelona’s City Council
– María Pía Torres Zamora, feminist anthropologist involved in the Constitutional Convention in Chile 2021
A written report of our FPE Dialogues in Barcelona was presented at the follow-up event in Montevideo organized by the involved WEGO team and the Defensoría de Vecinos y Vecinas de Montevideo in collaboration with the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation AECID who hosted the event at their training centre.
Wendy Harcourt and Constance Dupuis from WEGO-ITN-Network joined the Decolonising Development Cost Action Management meeting in Brussels 25-26 June 2022.
Wendy and Constance participated the two day meeting, the first face to face of the Cost Action network in Brussels where they join in the in-depth discussions about research, pedagogy and activism on decolonizing in Europe.
Decolonial feminisms emerged as one of the themes to be further explored. Wendy and Constance are now founding members of the Decolonial Feminisms Group.
Around 15 members of Cost Action plan to meet May 2023 in Italy at Grotte Di Castro Italy where WEGO-ITN held a very successful retreat in June (link to report) to discuss decolonial feminisms as a concept and practice. They will discuss texts, practical ways of doing research/ teaching otherwise and discussing issues of race in Europe. The retreat will aim to support each of the members based in academic institutions throughout Europe and how to resist racisms and sexism and agism at different life-stages inside university environment. The plan will be to prepare a collaborative written piece based on the discussions and writings.
The retreat in Palazzo Orzi, Grotte di Castro, attended by 17 people, had the important task of consolidating the work of WEGO-ITN 2018-22, as well as setting new directions for the network for the next two years. The focus was on how to continue to build the network as an inclusive, responsible, ethical and caring place for members and others to do activist research on feminist political ecology with communities.
The retreat reviewed the results of WEGO-ITN’s 4 and half years and how to continue (taking into account economic resources) as the network consolidates and expands. This included what kind of activities, research, mentoring and partnering, the network will do in order to take up our responsibilities with communities to do follow up transformative research ‘otherwise’.
Our time in the Grotte was intentionally a slow meeting, with time to reflect, dream, discuss and debate in the beautiful Palazzo, home of the Orzi family. The meeting’s agenda evolved with the input of the people there building an agenda which helped us consider how we would work together and expand our outreach over the next two years. The conversation was guided by the coordinating team with lots of breaks, group work, and times to enjoy each other’s company as we chatted, prepared meals, cleaned and eat together.
The setting is often what makes or breaks the success of a retreat. The Palazzo Orzi was a special place and Gaia and her parents were wonderful hosts. The Palazzo is a family home with many treasures from Etruscan vases, stately furniture and original paintings, and with frescoed ceilings. Despite the splendour, it was cosy and warm. While we were mostly tucked away in our workshop, discussing in the commodious sitting room, eating out in the garden under ancient trees, there were times to walk around the medieval town. We had some memorable meals in Grotte in a wonderful trattoria just up the road – ‘Aglio ,Olio and Pepperoncino.’ And we had one afternoon eating fish by the lake. In the day Gaia had provided local cheese and fruit. We found space for everyone to sleep in the Palazzo, whether in side-rooms, or cool ground rooms, or walk-through corridors. Wherever we found ourselves in the Palazzo, our hosts and their friendliness (and the food and wine!) made it a special and caring time.
Our time was nourishing and productive. We agreed that the network would continue as an activist research network, that would continue to experiment and learn from what is happening around us as we navigate individual and institutional global uncertainty and disruption. WEGO-ITN has found quite some skills in navigating Covid with care and support for each other face to face and in virtual spaces inside and outside the academe. And we face increasingly difficult times – marked by the pandemic and climate crisis and increasing economic precarity and political violence including wars.
So, even if the EU funding is over, the network will continue as a feminist network with (thankfully for the coordinators in particular), less bureaucratic demands. The focus will continue to be Feminist Political Ecology doing activist research, networking ‘otherwise’ across the diversities of territories, institutions, languages, etc that mark us. It was such a privilege to be building our past, present and future relations in beautiful spaces such as the Palazzo and in sight of Lago di Bolsena, quietly reminding us about the presence of more-than-human others in our life worlds.
More FPE Dialogues to come!
Officially WEGO-ITN has completed its work in June 2022 and the coordinating team are working on the final report. But the network will continue, as decided in both The Hague training in April the and June retreat. The Contours of Feminist Political Ecology is now being copyedited for publication in late 2022/ early 2023. The 10 articles for the special issues of Journal of Peasant Studies are being prepared for publication in 2023 along with a Routledge bool. From September 2022 onwards the network will recommence monthly networking meetings to continue to provide support for PhDs who are in the final stages of their PhD and to plan for a new network which will be called FEST* (feminist ecological solidarities for transformation). The Coordinating team along with other WEGO PhDs and mentors will continue to steer the network until summer 2024.
This new direction for WEGO will help to consolidate and expand the network through a series of FPE Dialogues which will feature activist research with communities engaged in intersectional intergenerational environment justice arenas. Inspired by Pangea A-Sud encounter FPE Dialogues will be about engaging at local and global levels activists and researchers particularly in the global south. The Fest* network, along with other local and global networks will bring together communities’ stories and strategies. Plans are for a return to Grotte di Castro in 2023 and in 2024 a celebratory reunion for all PhD students who have completed their PhD journey. Further suggestions include to apply to Bellagio for a FPE dialogue on the ‘Politics of Enough for Building Thriving Communities’, holding skills workshops on how to communicate and teach FPE as well as locally organized FPE Dialogues in South Africa, and Argentina covering topics such as resilience of rural women farmers and rethinking bodies, territories and land.
For those interested in organizing or joining FPE Dialogues and Fest* please contact: Wendy Harcourt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The final WEGO training lab, attended in person by 20 people in The Hague in April, was a time to take stock of all that WEGO-ITN had achieved as well as to plan for the final months of WEGO-ITN as PhDs complete their thesis, and the network looked forward to what is to come.
The five days together allowed members of WEGO to reflect on the experience of being part of an ITN during an era of disruption – disruptions which are fast becoming the ‘new normal’. The training was a moment to consolidate what WEGO as a network has learnt about how to do meaningful and care-full research as the world faces on-going climate crisis, future pandemics, wars, economic and political uncertainty and reversals on gains made. The time together in The Hague was an opportunity to move forward, soberly aware and thankful that the network’s years together provided tools that will guide our individual and collective resilience in the future.
As the training lab showed, WEGO has kept going despite disruptions. It has adapted and innovated – and as the many website posts testify, WEGO has produced a lot. WEGO has built a network and made connections that have proved resilient. WEGO had to become experimental in it research approach and in the activities PhDs could do, proving to be flexible, dealing with individual, institutional and global uncertainties. WEGO found personal, academic and activist skills as it went virtual, and found ways to do research on-line, participating in many on-line dialogues, and reaching out to the people inside and outside the academe.
The flow of the meeting
The training lab proved to be valuable space to harvest the lessons on how WEGO individually and collectively learnt over this period to find resilience. The meeting was a hybrid one, physically taking place in the WEGO coordinating Institute – the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. The plenaries took place in the attic and big Aula and some of the class rooms where people could join on-line. As well as plenary discussions and working groups there were the face to face discussions in the ISS Butterfly Bar, including the launch of Feminist Methodology book. WEGO also frequented different local venues to eat together enjoying the different cuisines that an international community city like the ISS and the surroundings in the centre of the Hague can provide.
It was an intense few days together. For many of those who came to The Hague, it was the first face to face meeting after two and more years of Covid. Recognising that, participants tested each day and wore masks. Two PhDs and several mentors joined on-line for specific events and trainings. For those in The Hague it felt very special to be together. There were many walks and informal conversations. There was a chance to discuss the research of each PhD and mentor (the summaries of which were shared ahead of time) but also time to discuss the strategies of how we coped emotionally and need to continue coping in this new normal of living with Covid and climate crisis.
As well as plenary discussions and workshops there was also material for thinking creatively – with crochet and drawing and painting as well as clay available for those who wanted to use their hands while thinking and discussing. As a research network it was instructive to think about how each of us navigated the sudden disruptions and changes to what an ITN ‘should’ be as all academic and activists meetings and research went on-line. We discussed how we created new spaces such as on-line exhibitions, conferences, research meetings on-line, vlogging etc. We wondered if this was just about learning new tools or did it mean finding new ways to connect and do research? As a feminist network that spoke about care, did WEGO provide not only technological but also emotional support for ourselves and others to survive difficult times? What kinds of relationships did WEGO build, virtually, in-place – politically and culturally? How do we plan to give feedback to communities/ academic institutions/ allies/ EU administration?
The Lab Programme
The 5 day programme was planned in the preceding monthly on-line meetings and via a shared google doc. The meeting reflected this collaborative process with a strong sense of inclusion and collective responsibility. Each day was designed to engage and focus on content and process, with space for many different kinds of conversations as well as time to enjoy each other’s company. Each day there was at least one (formal) social moment, most of them outside the ISS, including a trip down to the beach.
Day one was devoted to getting to know each other again and how we have engaged as a network of FPE scholars. The idea was a slow start with time to talk and discuss what has happened over the last years. The ombudsperson created some ground rules which were shared and discussed. In the first session her guidelines were established about how to respect and hold space for a creative learning time together ‘living the talk’ of a feminist network that centres relations of care.
Day two focused on the chapters of the FPE Contours book – with detailed feedback on the draft by other authors and chance for authors to meet together to discuss the required changes. The book will be out end of the year. See the latest table of contents:
Day three featured network business – ethics, an executive meeting and a discussion around the Ombudperson report on how we learnt to work as a network ‘with care’.
Day four was on skills building for the PhDs to complete their PhD and meet EU requirements. There was a parallel hybrid supervisory meeting where mentors shared what they learnt from WEGO and what direction they wanted the future of the network to take.
The ISS staff shared the following tips and tricks on how to do a funding proposal for the PhDs. See:
Day five looked at where WEGO will go as a network – putting together a ‘wish list’ and further reflections on how to give back to communities.
WEGO-ITN future research and networking
The concluding session put together the ideas for where the network can expand which was further elaborated in the June retreat (link to web report).
The following ideas for research and networking have emerged from WEGO to date and it was proposed they can be developed over the next two years.
Collaborative teaching and writing
develop FPE on-line course/collective teaching curriculum/ teaching tools/ videos etc.
organise an annual encounters /writing retreats/ learning how write for different audiences
Researching further topics such as:
Feminism as transformation Feminist theory; Feminist and subaltern movements and Intersectional feminist ethics of care)
Alternatives to capitalism/mainstream development processes Degrowth; Decoloniality (indigenous cosmologies); Pluriverse (post development); Community economies and Commoning
Climate justice and critical agrarian studies Climate colonialism; extractivism; Gender and pastoralism; Politics of food and Farming and necropolitics
Body politics Embodiment, health and technologies; Ageing and generations; crip politics and ableism; Sexual and reproductive justice; population and kinning
More-than-human relations Co-becoming with water; Earthcare; Learning otherwise and Queer ecologies
Engaging with communities:
organise dissemination workshops
do podcasts, radio shows
design FPE comics/zines/school modules
write stories for non-academic audiences
write timely policy briefs
translate FPE to and from different languages
plan subversive research actions (ie guerilla archeology)
support exchanges among WEGOinstitutions and partners for future research projects
consolidate relations with research partners already engaged with WEGO such as degrowth, Undisciplined Environments, CERN, POLLEN, Decolonial Cost Action etc.
Expand to more places in the Global South (To date the network has institutional links in the Global North: The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, UK, Spain, Norway, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan – and Global South: Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa.
Rome, 17 June 2022 – Pangea Foundation and WEGO-ITN organized the “Wangari Maathai” workshop in collaboration with the association A Sud.
The aim of the event was to create a space for women working in different fields linked to feminism and ecology to come together and exchange experiences, practices, knowledge and opinions.
Women activists, entrepreneurs, politicians, researchers met and created new nexuses between theories and practices, new definitions and possible actions. Around 40 women working on gender and the environment participated in the workshop (take a look at some of their bios below), some coming from different parts of Italy and abroad. Participants presented and positioned themselves and shared their definition of ecofeminism.
They shared how they stood with respect to their struggles, their territories and themselves. They searched for new words and meanings, exchanged practices and identified those in which they recognised themselves the most.
The workshop was an opportunity for all participants to gather, meet new people, find new energy and connections to act collectively for environmental and gender justice.
A preliminary look into the future
During the encounter, participants discussed the future of WEGO-ITN project and proposed a preliminary plan of action for the next two years. At the core, it was proposed that the network continued developing their FPE Dialogues, by expanding them to different spaces and undertaking activist research with people engaged in intersectional intergenerational environment justice in communities/ institutional arenas. The idea is to bring together their stories and strategies in a series of FPE Dialogues and to focus on local/global engagements expanding the spaces where WEGO-ITN engage, particularly in the global south..
List of participants
Ana Agostino Dr. Ana Agostino is the Ombudsperson for Montevideo, Uruguay and lecturer in Development and Culture at the University CLAEH. She graduated as a Social Worker from the University of the Republic, Uruguay, did postgraduate studies at the University of Bremen, Germany, and has a PhD in Development Studies from the University of South Africa (UNISA). She was a research fellow at UNISA at the departments of Latin American Studies (2000) and Development Studies (2005-2006) and Guest Researcher at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany (2013).
Gulay Çaglar, Freie Universität Berlin
Gülay Çaglar is Professor for Gender and Diversity at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin. Caglar studied political science and economics and received her PhD in political science in 2007 from the University of Kassel, where she also worked as a research associate. Her research interests include Critical Food Studies, Feminist International Political Economy, Transnational Feminisms and International Governance. In her current research she investigates how shifts in gendered food practices (production, consumption, food preparation) and food activism affect policy priorities in international food governance.
Khayaat Fakier, Cattedra “Price Claus”, ISS
From 1 September 2021 Dr Khayaat Fakier will hold the Prince Claus Chair (PCC) for a period of two years at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her thematic focus will be ‘Putting care at the center of equity and development’. The two-year research project will examine how to build an ethics of care not only for people, but also for the environment. The intent of the research will be to see in what ways care work is ‘the alternative’ value to growth. The analysis will specifically take into account local communities’ responses to the pandemic. Dr Fakier is a sociologist with a focus on research in women’s care for others and the environment. She is currently senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University and teaches modules on sociology of work, feminisms and women’s engagement in the South African economy. Dr Fakier’s research examines the value of social reproduction in a global society where the unpaid work and care conducted by women is not recognised. Her work has featured in renowned international journals such as Antipode: Journal of Radical Geography, the International Journal of Feminist Politics, and Capitalism Nature Socialism.
Balia dal Collare is an activists’ group located in Rieti’s province. The group was founded in opposition to TSM2 (Terminillo Mountain Station). It is engaged in a dispute against the construction of new ski-lifts in the mountains of the municipalities of Leonessa Cantalice Micigliano e Vazia. The group has been working for years on the construction of new visions of mountain and rural areas through the valorisation of collective goods. Its activism and research practices concern the issues of mountains, water and energy autonomy, and environmental and local memories.
Giovanna Di Chiro, Swarthmore College (USA)
Giovanna Di Chiro is a Professor at Swarthmore College where she teaches courses on environmental justice theory, action research methods, and community sustainability. She is a faculty partner and policy advisor for Nuestras Raíces (our roots), a community organization that focuses on urban agriculture, food justice, and resiliency in the Puerto Rican/Latino community of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Di Chiro has published widely on the intersections of environmental science, policy, and activism addressing issues of human rights, food security, and environmental and climate justice.
Wendy Harcourt, Coordinator of the WEGO-ITN project
Wendy Harcourt is Professor of Gender, Diversity and Sustainable Development at ISS-EUR in The Hague. She is currently Chair of the Institute Council, member of the Research Committee, CIRI Research Group Coordinator and Coordinator of the Marie Curie ITN ‘WEGO’ project. Prof. dr. Wendy Harcourt joined the ISS in November 2011 after 23 years at the Society for International Development, Rome as Editor of the journal Development and Director of Programmes. She has edited 10 books and her monograph: ‘Body Politics in Development: Critical Debates in Gender and Development’ published by Zed Books in 2009, received the 2010 Feminist Women Studies Association Book Prize. She is series editor of both the Palgrave Gender, Development and Social Change and the ISS-Routledge Series on Gender, Development and Sexuality, a member of the International Governing Council of the Society for International Development as well as actively involved in gender and development journal boards and civil society networks.
Sharmini Bisessar-Selvarajah, ombudsperson WEGO
Sharmini Bisessar-Selvarajah joined the ISS in November 1998. From 2013 until 2017, she was the research programme manager for the Political Ecology research group. In January 2018 she became the project officer for WEGO. In her over 20-year career at the ISS, she has worked with academic staff, PhD researchers, MA students, management, support colleagues and external relations. She is currently a member of the Institute Council of the ISS. She holds a Master’s degree in Children and Youth Studies, Master’s degree in Management and a professional certificate in total quality management. Her interest in anthropological research lies in children and young people, women, political ecology and sustainable development.
Mother, Colombian anthropologist, master in Amazonian studies, doctor in anthropology. Collaborator of CEPAM – Centro de Estudios de Pensamiento Amazonico – of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I have done research mainly in the Colombian Amazon, with indigenous peoples. I collaborated with the truth commission in Colombia to understand the dynamics of war in the Amazon, mainly on gender violence. I am interested in issues related to the plurality of the senses of peace and on community-based, black, ecological feminisms that place biocentric perspectives. With my family we lived in the Amazon, in the Brazilian northeast and currently in the Abruzzo’s mountains, where I’ve met the feminist collective “Fuori Genere” of which I am part.
The Dutch edition of our Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues happened on May 17th 2022, in Wageningen, focusing on age, generation and population. Organized by and based on the interests and research of three WEGO PhDs candidates – Constance Dupuis (ISS), Milja Fenger (ISS) and Nanako Nakamura (WU) – the event wanted to bring different, but equally essential, discourses around life-making into the Feminist discussions about care, everyday practices, climate discussions, and social reproduction.
In part, it did so by showing the researcher’s cases and approaches, while evoking questions and discussions from the participants. The PhDs shared a similar standpoint of critical view on normativity, inspired by situated own notions and experiences.
The first session, “Stories of Aging”, conducted by Constance and Nanako, centered on FPE’s intersectional thinking and the resistance against simple binary to see gendered and aging practices as relational construction of social differences. Both Nanako and Constance used socionatural understandings of the people/place intersection though the meanings presented in Japan and Uruguay.
The second session, “Exploring Controversies Around Population”, by Milja, paid attention to the everyday, to the embodied, to emotions. Milja focused on how FPE methodologies do not recognise the written text as the only or primary means of conducting knowledge production – and how FPE is able to be “performed” in multiple ways including through experimentation with art and creativity.
Despite sharing the understanding and FPE’s perspective, the three PhD researches are distinctive in terms of context, methodology, and research question. The multiplicity in FPE application contributes to diversifying the approach and the theoretical grounds of the Dialogues.
Questions and reflections
Why and how questions of justice in later stages of life intersect with questions of environmental justice were briefly touched during the event. Both Nanako’s and Constance’s work suggested that aging concerns should feature in environmental justice research, with elderly being key actors in the struggles for environmental justice, as well as important knowledge holders.
The Dutch edition laid out key concepts around human and non-human life. Environment can be diverse, beyond the natural environment, relationally shaped by a social-ecological political process. The discussions teased out some of those relational processes suggesting that any specific environment entails experiences of human and non-human interactions that make life continue in various ways.
With this notion in mind, WEGO-ITN PhDs can start looking at what makes a new way of living, unraveled not through relying on the popular notion of anti-aging or regeneration of the population, but through relating to different bodily experiences as an ethical approach (Nanako’s work).
In the second session, the FPE dialogue complicated questions by looking into the relationship between art and research and how methodologies from the former can be used in the latter. Milja Fender suggested that research on environmental justice would do well following the developments in wider academia around the use of creative methodologies in research, but that careful thought around what counts as research outputs are necessary.
The Dialogues were open to everyone interested in joining, so as to invite more people to conversations about FPE, and our interests around age and population. The organizers used mailing lists, personal contacts, and social media, e.g. Twitter and Facebook, to share the event announcement.
La Ecología Política Feminista se sustenta intelectual y metodológicamente en un enfoque de abajo hacia arriba para explorar y comprometerse con problemas socio-ambientales de carácter global pero también inherentemente local, prestando atención a las voces y reclamos de grupos y subjetividades tradicionalmente subrepresentados, marginados y oprimidos (por ejemplo mujeres, personas racializadas, inmigrantes o LGBTIQ).
Al mismo tiempo se propone un cambio de mirada desde un enfoque centrado en el ser humano a uno que va más allá de lo humano. Empleando conceptos como interseccionalidad y encarnación, la EPF plantea una mirada renovada sobre cómo las socionaturalezas y los metabolismos se forman a través de relaciones de poder que penetran en el cuerpo, la comunidad y la ciudad de múltiples formas interconectadas y que involucran a grupos situados de manera diferente. La EPF nos invita a ampliar nuestra comprensión prestando atención a las experiencias cotidianas cargadas de significado a través de un lente interseccional y le da la bienvenida a la conexión de la teoría y la praxis a través de puentes entre la academia, los gobiernos, las instituciones de formulación de políticas y las organizaciones de activistas.
Con el fin de debatir en torno a este concepto y aportar a su construcción colectiva, WEGO-ITN organizó varios diálogos, tanto virtuales como presenciales.
Los Diálogos recogidos en esta publicación tuvieron lugar el 4 de noviembre de 2021 en formato híbrido. Varios y varias participantes se encontraron de manera presencial en Barcelona y se sumaron participantes de diversos países de América Latina en formato virtual.
This series of events was organised by WEGO-ITN Early Stage Researchers Dian Ekowati, Siti Maimunah, Alice Owen and Eunice Wangari, plus Prof. Rebecca Elmhirst, as a mentor.
The British version of WEGO-ITN’s Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues happened between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 in two separate occasions: on the The United Nations COP26 Peoples Summit for Climate Justice and as part of the Despite Extractivism Exhibition, organized by the Extracting Us Collective.
The United Nations COP26 took place in Glasgow, UK in November 2021 and was the focus for our first FPE dialogue event series.
We invited the public, through the COP26 Peoples Summit for Climate Justice events programme, to join us to discover stories from Indonesia, Kenya and the UK which can be woven together to tell a bigger story about the making of climate colonialism, the logics of extractivism, and the ways communities resist and find alternatives. We shared stories which have come to us through our research with communities as part of the WEGO network for Feminist Political Ecology.
Through this FPE dialogue, we ask: what does the climate emergency look like in each of these places? How do frontline communities resist ‘false solutions’? Through a toxic tour, we juxtapose untold stories from riverine, forest, agrarian, pastoralist and suburban communities in West and Central Kalimantan (Indonesia), Kenya and the UK. These stories of everyday struggles for life may be overlooked, and therefore untold, in the drama of large-scale resistances. Alongside the tour, we invite those attending in person to join us in an open story-sharing space to gather and connect untold stories from elsewhere.
We also bring these stories to the United Nations COP26 Virtual Gender Marketplace to bring our FPE perspective into conversation with policy makers alongside bodies including IUCN, UN Women and others engaged with gender and the climate agenda.
Despite Extractivism is an online exhibition that assembled expressions of care, creativity and community in relation to diverse extractive contexts. The exhibition is both an exploration of extractivism, and of the already-existing alternatives. Collectively, the works in this exhibition illuminate and explore ways of questioning, subverting and resisting the violent logics and impacts of extractivism. The FPE dialogues event series provokes questions and discussions with communities, creatives and activists. Whilst our questions are informed by Feminist Political Ecology (FPE), the dialogues provide an opportunity to push FPE in new directions.
In addition to the co-curation of an online exhibition following on from the Extracting Us exhibition series, the organising team organised a series of online webinars which were spaces where artists, activists, researchers and interested audiences could convene to explore extractivism and its alternatives through a FPE lens. Between a launch event and a closing event, three webinars explored the stories, ideas and practises of the Despite Extractivism contributors and the communities they engaged with. The events, featuring performances, presentations and discussions, focused in turn on expanding but intersecting scales, from the body to the global.
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