Key to the work of WEGO-ITN is its public engagement with local communities as well as engaging in debates and discussions as well as advocacy at national and European level. WEGO aims to translate its research findings and knowledge built together with the communities with whom they work into societally relevant events that can lead to social and economic change. In this section we show the variety of public engagements WEGO-ITN is fostering.
On 1 October 2019, Undisciplined Environments – a platform for political ecology research, collaborative writing, and activism – launched its collaboration with WEGO. Originally founded in 2014 by fellows of the European Network of Political Ecology (ENTITLE) (ITN, EU-FP7) as Entitleblog, it grew in terms of weekly publications and attracted a broad audience in Political Ecology worldwide. The editorial collective was reconfigured and its name changed to Undisciplined Environments. The editorial collective now includes activist/scholars from different EU academic institutions. Its purpose is to communicate research, reflections and activism around environmental conflicts in a wide sense, and to do this in a format accesible to a broad audience within and outside of academia.
Undisciplined Environments has been in close collaboration with the WEGO network since 2019, inviting WEGO members in the editorial team, and hosting contributions that bring a stronger feminist lens to political ecology analysis, also with the aim of WEGO outputs and reflections reaching an already established broad audience. The editorial collective now includes WEGO PhDs Ilenia Iengo and Irene Leonardelli as well as the WEGO coordinator Wendy Harcourt as core members, with plans for more WEGO PhDs to take on editorial responsibilities.
Undisciplined Environments is a key public engagement platform for the WEGO network. The platform has over 2000 and 3000 followers on facebook and twitter respectively, and has been steadily increasing its online views on a yearly basis since 2016 to reach 70,000 views in 2018. With WEGO’s collaboration, new posts bringing in feminist political ecology perspectives and methodologies have been created. This aims to expose previous Undisciplined Environments readers to feminist political ecology content as well as attract feminist political ecology readers to the Undisciplined Environments platform.
Extinction Rebellion: caring for earth
Blogs from the WEGO community
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.
Training seminar on Feminist Political Ecology (FPE)
On 9 April 2019, a training seminar on Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) between WEGO and the Defensoria de Vecinas y Vecinos de Montevideo (DVVM) took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. WEGO PhDs Constance Dupuis and Nick Bourguignon and WEGO mentor and DVVM ombundsperson Ana Agostino conducted a seminar with the DVVM team that aimed to introduce FPE, some FPE concepts, and how these relate to the work the DVVM carries out. Emergent thoughts and issues included, among others, the importance of grounding FPE in relation to the public that is being engaged, how DVVM themes on mediation and conviviality resonate with FPE themes on commoning and embodied experience, and how FPE can adopt in a broader manner a humans rights approach that is the core of DVVM approaches
Bolsena Feminist Methodologies Retreat
For a week in August 2019, part of the WEGO team gathered with other academics and activists of diverse places, ages and experiences at the S. Maria del Giglio convent by Bolsena lake, Italy, and hosted by WEGO partner Punti di Vista (PdV) for a feminist methodologies writing retreat. By living and learning together in and around the convent, participants were able to go beyond thinking about feminist methodologies at a theoretical level and were able to experiment with practicing feminist political ecology and doing academia otherwise. A book is being planned that aims to collect on learning and reflections from this retreat.