“Ecología política feminista y ciudades vivibles: Diálogos transatlánticos” is now available online

If you missed the transatlantic edition of our series of “Feminist Political Ecology”-Dialogues, worry no more. Both sessions are now available online in our YouTube channel. The presentations and debates were held in Spanish.

The event, held online in November 4th, with scholars, activists and local government actors from Spain, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay discussed critically on the theme of “livable cities” from a feminist political ecology perspective and with a focus on socio-environmental justice. Topics such as water politics and integrated management, urban greening, food sharing and the commons, urban and planetary health in times of pandemic, and ‘right to the city’ approaches were discussed throughout two sessions: “Gobernanza y políticas públicas rumbo a las ciudades vivibles” and “Flujos entre territorios: el caso del agua”.

A few of the speakers at “Ecología Política Feminista y Ciudades Vivibles: Diálogos Transatlánticos”  were Silvana Pissano (mayor of Municipio B in Montevideo), Amaranta Herrero Cabrejas (strategic coordinator of Proyecto Barcelona Capital Mundial de la Alimentación Sostenible 2021), Blanca Valdivia (founding partner of Col·lectiu Punt 6). WEGO-ITN Early Stage Researchers Marlene Gomes, Nick Bourguignon, Anna Katharina Voss also presented their work, as well as our Panagiota Kotsila (BCNUEJ) and Sergio Villamayor Tomás (Autonomous University of Barcelona).

 

 

Multiple ways of sharing (and interacting with) research findings: the case of the “Troubling Waterscapes” project

It all started a few months before the biannual conference POLLEN2020: Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration, that was supposed to be held in Brighton, UK, in June 2020. Irene Leonardelli and Enid Still, two of WEGO-ITN Early Stage Researchers, together with their colleague and PhD candidate Arianna Tozzi, as well as artist Sneha Malani, were thinking of how to present their research findings in an interactive, less academic and more collective way. Soon the idea of an immersive art exhibition emerged, where it would be possible to engage in reflections with the participants, not necessarily by means of traditional panel discussions or roundtables.

Then COVID-19 hit.

After some consideration, they decided to move online. Instead of a traditional art installation, they developed an interactive online presentation, in which virtual visitors could move back and forth through the maps and stories of the fictional village of Pravah, in India, where Irene did her research on women who cultivate flowers with wastewater. Located in a notoriously drought-prone region, the village receives wastewater from Pune for irrigation purposes. As the wastewater reaches Pravah, however, it contaminates existing water resources. There is, of course, a symbolic, troubling, but also somewhat poetic contrast, between this polluted water and the flowers they grow.

The project came to life at the Pollen Conference, which ended up being held in September 2020. Now, their work – called Troubling Waterscapes, based on Donna Haraway’s “staying with the trouble” concept -, has become an permanent and immersive platform: troublingwaterscapes.com

The researches, who work with water and agriculture, explained their website in a blog post for UPE collective:

“We started reflecting together on different ways of being with, understanding, knowing and feeling water. Speaking online from isolation across different parts of the world, we started adding layers to the map in the form of photos, poetry, satirical sketches, reflection and animations. These expressions were sparked by our collective conversations as we further troubled and questioned our engagement with waters and agriculture from multiple perspectives. Together, we reflected on what water infrastructures are (materially and symbolically) about their histories and meanings. We discussed how the people’s experiences and engagements with different waters (groundwater, wastewater, rain water) change throughout time and space, and how these differences are reflected across  multiple intersecting identities. We questioned how the very materiality of water, its fluidity, transparency, taste, affects everyday dealings and experiences with water across different waterscapes.”

For more information on the idea behind this WEGO-ITN project, check out the blog post.

And, of course, don’t miss the final results! Welcome to Troubling Waterscapes.

Commoning through blogging: Reflections on our “Reimagining, remembering and recommoning water” series

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 SenPatrick BresnihanEmilie DupuitsElliot HurstSiti Maimunah and Sarah AgustioriniCleo Woelfle-ErskineKat 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.

Reimagining, remembering, and reclaiming water: From extractivism to commoning

A new open Series co-organized by the Undisciplined Environments and FLOWs blogs looks at struggles over more just and ecological water presents and futures.

Water connects every aspect of life: from our literal physical sustenance, to economic activities and political regimes. Within and beyond the current Coronavirus pandemic, a water crisis looms large. While media, government and NGO attention has almost entirely centered on the deaths caused by this pandemic, it can be easy to forget that globally, every 2 minutes a child dies from diseases caused by lack of access to clean water and sanitation. While worldwide one of the most common guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus has been to wash hands regularly and carefully, this is simply not possible for the 780 million people who do not have access to a safe water source.

Read the full article here

Irene Leonardelli is co-author of this blog published on Undisciplined Environments