5 November 2020 — Uneven Earth
September & October readings
On the politics of mental health, conservation, and the ecology of fire
Once a month, we put together a list of stories we’ve been reading: news you might’ve missed or crucial conversations going on around the web. We focus on environmental justice, radical municipalism, new politics, political theory, and resources for action and education.
We try to include articles that have been published recently but will last, that are relatively light and inspiring, and are from corners of the web that don’t always get the light of day. This will also be a space to keep you up to date with news about what’s happening at Uneven Earth.
Unfortunately, we were forced to skip our newsletter last month due to low capacity and poor health — but we’ll make it up this time by bringing you two months’ worth of readings to mull over and learn from! As this year’s World Mental Health Day fell on the 10th of October, we decided to include a section dedicated to political analyses and the social determinants of mental health. We also compiled a list on the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly highlighted what we can learn from non-Western countries and philosophies. As usual, you will find plenty of material on Indigenous struggles, degrowth, cities and radical municipalism, food politics, and the dangerous rise of eco-fascism; as well as alternative perspectives on conservation, sci-fi, and fire ecology.
A small note that the articles linked in this newsletter do not represent the views of Uneven Earth. When reading, please keep in mind that we don’t have capacity to do further research on the authors or publishers!
Uneven Earth updates
Make life, not work: democratizing, decommodifying and remediating existence | Emancipation from labour requires us to democratize and decommodify the economy as a whole
Renewable energy | To provide the conditions for a sustainable technology, we must begin by establishing a sustainable economy
Structural violence and the automobile | The intertwined legacy of fascism and the motorcar
Degrowth | Degrowth is not a passive critique but an active project of hope
Top 5 articles to read
Feral Atlas invites you to explore the ecological worlds created when nonhuman entities become tangled up with human infrastructure projects
News you might’ve missed
Polluted air killing half a million babies a year across globe, Small increases in air pollution linked to rise in depression, and Air pollution linked with 15% COVID-19 deaths worldwide. Also, don’t forget: Pollution is a racial justice issue. Let’s fight it that way.
A historic victory in Bolivia. Fireworks exploded across the night sky in the Bolivian capital of La Paz on Sunday evening, October 18th, as the projected results came through showing a near-landslide victory for the left-wing Movimiento al socialismo (MAS) and its presidential candidate, Luis Arce, in the country’s national elections.
Chile’s latest steps towards true democracy are a beacon for the world. Hopes are high that the overwhelming vote to overturn the Pinochet-era constitution marks the beginning of a new era.
Learning from COVID-19
Barcelona’s radical response to Covid-19. While governments around the world have allowed inequality to increase during Covid-19, Barcelona’s left-wing municipality has fought back – introducing measures to support workers, women, migrants and the environment.
Where we’re at: analysis
Just think about it…
The vine and the fish. Does the language of invasive biology contribute to xenophobia? An interactive comic.
The politics of mental health
Self-help hacks at the end of the world. Everything is pretty terrible right now. A glut of pop psych advice wants you to think you can muscle your way out of it alone.
’Investing’ in mental health is doomed to fail because humans aren’t stocks. The World Health Organization focused on investing in mental health as the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day. That might sound sensible, but it’s precisely this language of ‘investment’ that is taking the mental health conversation backwards.
After growth. A review of Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa by Julie Livingston.
Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel. A book review.
Building, not branding. Instead of creating individual brands, we can aim to build collectivities in struggle.
Cities and radical municipalism
Communes – the building block of democratic confederalism. An explainer.
Conservation vs capitalism
Sci-fi and the near future
To build a future without police and prisons, we have to imagine it first. A strain of science fiction called visionary fiction empowers activists, artists, and organizers to seed a better future.
Complicity in destruction III: How global corporations enable violations of Indigenous people’s rights in the Brazilian Amazon. The full report by the Brazilian Indigenous people’s alliance – APIB & Amazon Watch.
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