In two webinars at the IASC 2021 Water Commons Virtual Conference (19-21 May 2021), past and future contributors reflected on the joint UndEnv-FLOWs series “Reimagining, remembering, and reclaiming water: From extractivism to commoning”.
Last week, during the IASC 2021 Water Commons Virtual Conference (19-21 May 2021) two panels reflected on the blog series “Reimagining, remembering, and reclaiming water: From extractivism to commoning”, co-hosted by Undisciplined Environments and IHE Delft’s FLOWs. The series builds on emerging discussions and activist practices of re-commoning water, that seek to heal our relations to this non-human “relative” of ours. These new political ecologies demand what Orla O’Donovan calls a “re-membering”, in a double sense: bearing in mind the importance of water and past ways of relating to it, and re-connecting the socio-ecological ‘members’ of our water bodies.
During the first panel, those authors who already published an essay in the series (Jenia Mukherjee and Amrita Sen, Patrick Bresnihan, Emilie Dupuits, Elliot Hurst, Siti Maimunah and Sarah Agustiorini, Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, Kat Taylor and Sheri Longboat) reflected on the contributions so far, on how the series is fertilizing new ideas on re-imagining, re-connecting and re-claiming water commons. The contributors were invited to join an exercise in “active reading”: giving a brief description of another essay from the series, and answer briefly how that essay 1) fosters “critical thinking on current challenges and possibilities for more just and ecological water presents and futures” and 2) re-centers the political dimension of water commons and commoning. The diversity of the contributions that made up the series so far demonstrated how the category of the commons and the commons themselves are stretched between, on the one side, universal understanding and aspirations – for instance to advance a political agenda against neoliberalism or privatisation – and, on the other side, specific, situated, and different local understandings of the commons.
You can read the full text on the Undisciplined Environment blog.