A school for climate activists

Life Vs capital: Understanding the crisis, changing the world. 

Life vs Capital was the first training school for climate strikers held in Naples, Italy on October 2-4, 2019.

The School was organized by the partnership of Fridays for Future Naples(FFF) and Ecologie Politiche del Presente(EPP) with funding from Guerrilla Foundation, right before the start of the second national assembly of Fridays for Future Italy in Naples. The school provided the space for horizontal learning through the exploration of theoretical perspectives and analytical tools on issues concerning climate change, urban social and environmental justice movements, decoloniality, education and pedagogy, energy transition, feminisms and commoning for students and climate strikers. The school saw the participation of high school and university students from many cities in Italy, with an average participation of 100 people at each workshop. The school for climate strikers has been crucial for the strengthening of networks across Italian students’ collectives, seeing the sprouting of more Political Ecology self-organized groups and Fridays for Future nodes in different cities. 

The training school for climate activists in Naples aimed to raise awareness among students around issues of climate change while emphasizing a critical analysis towards aspects of education, sexism, capitalism and the development model based upon the exploitation of specific subjectivities and territories to gain profit. Climate change, the pressing degradation of ecosystems and the 6thmass extinction are expressions of XXI century’s class conflict, moreover, they are all aspects reflecting the incompatibility of capitalism with life reproduction. 

The school has been inspired by the Zapatistas “ConCiencias por la Humanidad”, where we strived to approach environmental education via non-hierarchical and non—frontal pedagogy. We have experienced the importance of continuing the quest for alternative methodologies in approaching students and strikers on topics that demand a transversal strategy in order to account for the complexity of the topics. It emerged that even if media and educational systems do not represent properly the complexity, students are gaining consciousness around the four interrelated mechanisms of oppression through which capitalism keeps its global control: class, gender, race and species. Students have shared the need for alternative educational systems and methods in order to acknowledge that Extinction Capitalism is simultaneously classist, patriarchal, colonial and speciesist. The school aimed at casting a light on the interlinkages and interdisciplinary tools to build intersectional alliances to deal with all aspects of oppression and to avoid authoritarian drifts that can manifest during a state of emergency. 


Workshop 1: Changing the School to Change the System 
Moderators: Monica Capo (FFF) & Nicola Capone (EPP)
Speakers: Vincenzo Mautone (student, UniOr) – Laura Saffiotti (teacher, liceo scientifico Mercalli) – Luca Malgioglio (teacher, Teachers for Future) 

Workshop 2: Climate Crisis and Energy Sources: from Emergency to Alternatives
Moderators: Stefania Barca (EPP) e Sergio Marchese (FFF Milano)
Speakers: Cristina Mangia (researcher, ISAC CNR) – Dario Minervini (researcher,Università Federico II di Napoli) Gianluca Ruggieri (researcher, Università dell’Insubria).
Interventions: Coordinamento Fuori dal Fossile; Re: Common; Mamme No Tap; Civiltà del Sole Campania

Workshop 3: Decolonial Perspectives on Earth-Body-Territory: Struggles against extractivism and for eco-autonomy 
Moderators: Ilenia Iengo (EPP) and Miriam Corongiu (FFF)
Speakers: Maura Peca (researcher at Centro Studi Indipendente sui conflitti ambientali CDCA, Rome) – Antonello Petrillo (Professor, UniSob Naples) – Giuseppe Orlandini (PhD student, UniOr Napoli) – Isabelle Anguelowski (Professor, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
Interventions: Non Una di Meno Naples; Stop Biocidio; Rete di Cittadinanza e Comunità; Cittadini e Lavoratori Liberi e Pensanti Taranto

Workshop 4: Feminisms and Commoning: the seeds of new alliances
Moderators: Virginia Papaleo (FFF) and Roberto Sciarelli (EPP)
Speakers: Federica Giardini (Professor at Università Roma Tre) – Ilenia Iengo (PhD student at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) – Salvo Torre (Professor at Università di Catania) 
Interventions: Rete Jin Naples – Non Una di Meno Naples – Rete Beni Comuni

Workshop 5: Occupy Climate Change! Climate Emergency and Urban Social Movements
Moderators: Marco Armiero (EPP) and Gilda Berruti (OCC!)
Speakers: Salvatore Paolo de Rosa (researcher at KTH Stockholm) – Ashley Dawson (Professor at City University of New York) – Lise Sedrez (professor at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) – Federica Palestino (Professor at Federico II University)
Interventions: Legambiente Naples – Comitato No Grandi Navi Venezia – Nuova Cooperazione Organizzata

Open Debate: No Borders: Alliances for Climate Justice 
Moderator:Salvo Torre (University of Catania)
Interventions: Marco Armiero (KTH Stockholm) – Stefania Barca (CES, University of Coimbra) – Miriam Tola (University of Lausanne) – Gennaro Avallone (University of Salerno)

LIFE vs CAPITAL: Presentazione della scuola di formazione
Life vs Capital è la prima scuola di formazione per climate strikers che si tiene a Napoli dal 2 al 4 ottobre 2019, precedentemente alla seconda assemblea na…

LIFE vs CAPITAL: “Decolonizzare la terra/corpo/territorio. Lotte anti-estrative”
Life vs Capital è la prima scuola di formazione per climate strikers che si tiene a Napoli dal 2 al 4 ottobre 2019, precedentemente alla seconda assemblea na…
LIFE vs CAPITAL: “Decolonizzare la terra/corpo/territorio. Lotte anti-estrattive”
Life vs Capital è la prima scuola di formazione per climate strikers che si tiene a Napoli dal 2 al 4 ottobre 2019, precedentemente alla seconda assemblea na…

LIFE vs CAPITAL: “Femminismi e lotte per il comune: terreni per nuove alleanze”

Life vs Capital è la prima scuola di formazione per climate strikers che si tiene a Napoli dal 2 al 4 ottobre 2019, precedentemente alla seconda assemblea na…

Flower farmers in a dry land

Irene Leonardelli recently defended her research proposal at lHE Delft

Her research entitled ‘Flower Farmers in a Dry Land: A feminist ethnography of agrarian change and water flows in Maharashtra, India’ focuses on how farmers in the rural areas of Maharashtra, in India, are responding to, experiencing or even escaping processes of agrarian restructuring and water re-allocation provoked by the intensification of agriculture. More specifically, she is studying how the shift from subsistence to commercial farming is modifying tenure and labour relations, consumption and migration patterns as well as people’s experiences of and relations to their environment. Moreover, she is interested in analysing, from a feminist critical perspective, how far-away people, places and natures become connected through (physical and virtual) flows of water implied in the commodity chain of high-value crops. In her research, tracing these connections means assessing their implications for modalities and scales of water governance, but also reflecting on potential transnational feminist collaborations that can contribute to more equitable and sustainable socionatural futures.

All photos: Sharmini Bisessar

Climate change is a man-made problem — with a feminist solution!

Join former Irish President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins in this uplifting new podcast, celebrating amazing women doing remarkable things in pursuit of climate justice.

Each episode features the Mothers of Invention driving powerful solutions to climate change – from the grassroots to the court room, the front lines to the board room – all over the world.

Mothers Of Invention is a podcast on feminist climate change solutions from (mostly) women around the world.

Women are more likely to be affected by climate change, so women who are spearheading compassionate solutions. Mary, Maeve, and a different guest host every week dig into the biggest climate issues of our time. We learn how to cope, empower and enact change through the eyes of extraordinary women driving climate innovation– our Mothers of Invention. People-powered initiatives to new government policy to groundbreaking research to hard science. It’s not over till it’s over.


Irene Leonardelli on secondment in India

Big hug and good luck also from Seema and myself… in the 42° of Beed, one of the driest areas of Maharashtra.

Irene Leonardelli and her Secondment mentor Seema Kulkarni are in Pune,  India.

Read more about Irene’s secondment: