[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Caring for earth in times of COVID-19

…from my place in and beyond Extinction Rebellion Netherlands

by Fleur Zantvoort

The past months I’ve spent so much time, too much time, sitting inside, looking outside. What the pandemic is leaving me with is a sense of deep discrepancy. I just haven’t been able to match up the view from my window with what I know reality to be in my head. As if my eyes were deceiving me.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Mi Vida

by Daimys E. García

Mi Vida,

Writing does not come easily to me; writing during this time has been especially excruciating. A close friend once described me and my process as a ‘mortar and pestle.’ A grinding effort that may produce beautiful results, but does so only through a series of meticulous, painful, relentless breakings apart. ‘It would be easier,’ he explained, ‘if you just channeled a food processor instead—dump all the ingredients and out it comes: same results, a lot less suffering.’ At first defensive and annoyed by the description, I now hold a deep tenderness for it. The way of the food processor removes all of the knowledge-building. This labored process I learned in the kitchen with my grandmother who still, at 90 years old, uses a mortar and pestle to grind garlic. Through it, she taught me how to feel food, taught me how to smell for readiness, taught me patience and rhythm through pain. I think of how her grandmother taught her how to tolerate that pain for the knowledge it brings, and I take comfort in that ancestry.

And so… I write to you bleeding: this labor an expression of pain and tenderness.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] What does self-reliance really mean? Amazing stories from India’s margins

by Ashish Kothari

Can you imagine Dalit women farmers in Telangana, once facing hunger and deprivation, contributing 20,000 kgs of foodgrains for COVID19-related relief? Farmers on the Tamil Nadu – Karnataka border continuing to send organic food to Bengaluru consumers even during the lockdown? Villages in Kachchh and Tamil Nadu handling anti-COVID19 health measures, with minimal outside help? And adivasis (indigenous people) in central India with community funds able to take care of migrant workers who have had to come back to their villages?

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News from the Convivial Thinking Writing Collective: Engagements with the (de)coloniality of development research and teaching

The latest issue of Acta Academica contains the Special Focus: How do we know the world? Collective engagements with the (de)coloniality of development research and teaching.

The Special Focus was guest edited by the Convivial Thinking Writing Collective. Our collaborative engagements with the topic have evolved from a workshop in early 2019 and a consecutive blog series. Convivial Thinking is a collective platform seeking to surpass boundaries of origin, ethnicity, professional affiliation and academic disciplines in order to give space to inclusive, interdisciplinary and alternative approaches to mainstream methods of knowledge production, especially in the context of “development”. The articles in the Special Focus reflect these concerns.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Between solidarity and charity: a dialogue from the kitchen

The Barricade is a volunteer-run collective inspired by raccoons and anarchism, active as a public library and an anti-foodwaste kitchen. Our* library has a variety of radical left wing books and zines that can be loaned for free. We believe that self-education is a crucial element in the struggle for social change and therefore we aim to provide a space for collective learning. We organize discussions, reading groups and workshops that are free and open to anyone interested. Our vegan dinners are for donation and made out of what would have been otherwise trash. By fighting foodwaste we make it possible for people to eat a decent meal without having to pay a fortune.

* The I of this story is actually a we, collecting the experiences of more people part of The Barricade collective.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Eating my Food Politics; Reflections During COVID-19

by Rosa de Nooijer

Image 1 – Quince by Paul de Nooijer

My ways of eating have become fundamental to the way I want to be in the world. Food has always played an important role in my life, as we need food to stay alive, but it also connects us to those around us, whether that is when we are growing food, eating food or when we are caring for the earth and the other-than-humans on and in it. However, over the past years, I have come to understand that much of the food we buy and eat is produced in agricultural landscapes that are highly industrialized and mechanized. Not just that, but the bigger food systems, of which the growing of crops is only a small part, are de-humanizing and exploiting workers all over the world to ‘please the needs of consumers’ and destroying bio-cultural diversities to sustain capitalism and other oppressive systems. Also, the inequalities that are reproduced in these food systems result in the majority of the world population relying on cheap and unhealthy food, which increases their risks to a variety of diseases, one of which is COVID-19 which has been linked to different food-related diseases, for example diabetes, obesity and malnourishment.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] THE DAY AFTER

by Gustavo Esteva

No future

We lost floor underfoot.

Our world was reasonably predictable. Suddenly, from one day to another, deep trends that allowed us to anticipate the general and probable course of events and behaviors disappeared. We can no longer foresee what will happen. We are facing radical uncertainty.

There are inertias, obsessions, propensities and hobbies. We can correctly assume that a variety of actors and sectors of society will persist in the lines of behavior that characterize them. But we cannot know the outcome of their actions in what will undoubtedly be a new balance of forces, under radically new circumstances.

The world we will experience after the pandemic will not have changed because of it, but for previous critical conditions. We know almost nothing about the climate that is emerging after the climate collapse. Even less do we know what will remain of the institutions after the socio-political collapse. The pandemic only heightened the challenges at the crossroads we had already reached.

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[COVID-19] (Insubordinate) Conviviality in the COVID-19 Conjuncture

by Manolo Callahan

There is no escaping COVID-19. And by now, most agree we all must contribute what we can to minimize the impact of this deadly virus. Unfortunately, there is less agreement about what has changed and even more uncertainty about what will be our “new normal” as we pass through this crisis. The battle lines over what is or isn’t “normal” have never been more clearly drawn. Do we return to the system as it once was, resurrecting what brought us to this moment, or do we engage some other way of living, working, and celebrating together?

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[COVID-19] Conviviality in Quarantine

by Serena Stein

As Covid-19 accelerates in the United States, we are only beginning to come to terms with new realities of  ‘distancing,’ immobility, and enclosure that jeopardize the conviviality  and deeper bonds that sustain us. As infection and dis-ease spread throughout the world, the belated arrival of coronavirus to the United States was an opportunity to prepare for disaster that was largely squandered. As we now know, the fleeting window for better preparedness was undermined by disbelief, fueled by misleading statements from government officials, and namely the president. The following poem, written on Sunday March 15, is now a kind of artifact of a strange moment of incongruity, refusal, and impending doom in the brief interim before more severe measures were implemented to reduce coronavirus transmission in the American arena.

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