The Ecology and Society Workshop of the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra (ECOSOC, CES), in co-organization with the COST Action " Decolonizing Development " (DECOLDEV), and with the support of the H2020 projects "Just transition to the Circular Economy" (JUST2CE); "The Rise of Citizens Voices for a Greener Europe" (PHOENIX); “Animals and Plants in Cultural Productions about the Amazon River Basin” (ECO) and "Pr. Claus Chair in Equity and Development 2019-2021" from the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, invite applications for the “Pluriverse of Eco-social Justice” Summer School, to be held July 11 to 16 in Coimbra, Portugal.
The Summer School aims to provide co-learning and co-production of knowledge at the intersections of social and ecological issues through a diversity of political-ecological lenses. It builds on the collective experience developed by ECOSOC over the last 10 years with engaged and insurgent research-action on environmental justice and labor environmentalism, the commons, ecofeminism, eco-Marxism, degrowth, alternatives to development, postcolonial/decolonial critique, and emancipatory pedagogies.
The School is created through the ongoing collaborations within ECOSOC, and between its members and other projects and networks, including DECOLDEV, JUST2CE, PHOENIX and ECO, as well as social movement and community organizations in Portugal and transnationally. It thus brings together CES researchers with other local and international activists and scholars, to provide nurturing conceptual and practical tools for enacting alternative ecosocial horizons.
The backgrounds of ECOSOC and the associated projects provide the central thematic axis of transformations for more just and ecological worlds, in the context of the climate crisis and the so-called Anthropocene. The mainstream Anthropocene and Climate Change narratives identify a new (geologic) epoch in which the “human species” is the dominant geological force. These narratives have been criticized by scholars and activists who point out that the major changes in the biophysical forces of the planet are due to a particular political-economic system (Capitalism) coupled with its racialized, patriarchal, and colonial logics, in which a particular segment of humanity has caused this crisis. Thus it has been argued that it would be more precise to talk about Racial Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Anthro-Obscene, White Manthropocene, and to emphasize systemic change.
These critical conversations point out the power of narratives, fragmenting the universalist and heteropatriarchal Anthropocene; while suggesting alternative imaginaries such as Just Transitions, New Eco-Social Pacts, Diverse economies, Post-Development, Chultucene, Pluriverse, and Abolitionism.
Our approach builds on the following “keywords and tools”:
- Intersectional - bringing to the forefront the interconnections between systematic race, gender, class and coloniality oppressions; and the necessity of articulating the different struggles. Intersectionality envisions abolitionist futures, of justice as freedom from these interlocked structures of exploitation.
- Postcolonial and decolonial - since colonial mentality and power relations have not been overcome with the end of colonialism but rather structure our present, the combination of critical analyses based on postcolonial studies toolboxes and a decolonial agenda committed to subvert power relations is necessary to combine and forge alternative epistemologies and practices.
- Undisciplined encounters - interpersonal practices of dialogue meant to unlearn the boundaries that may keep us together or separate, and foster personal reflections within safe collectives of care for our struggles. In all aspects of life, navigating the ´disciplinary´ canons to subvert them may create spaces for encounters: new ways of thinking-feeling may emerge from these encounters with differences often expressed by unrecognized ‘authorities’ in testimonies, biographies, or art.
- Commoning - we envision the school itself as a collective process of co-learning, co-production, and co-inspiration of thinking-feeling-action between all participants, in other words, making a commons together. We plan the school to offer spaces of critical debate, deliberation, of sharing of experiences, tools, visions, strategies, and wisdom.
The Programme organizes the school’s keywords, tools, and approaches across four core themes (one each day), plus introductory and closing days, as follows
July 11 - Envisioning transformations and the pluriverse
July 12 - Navigating the river against extractivisms
July 13 - Care-seeing the city
July 14 - Making commons as mushrooms
July 15 - ACTing together as pluriverse
July 16 - Reflecting and celebrating together
The detailed programme is available HERE.
Sessions will be co-produced as moments of collective encounters and knowledge co-production. The formats will be mixed. Participants will be in-person, and events will be face-to-face, including discussions in CES spaces and various outdoor locations (forests, river, parks, cultural, community and student centers, city streets. etc.). We will use different co-teaching and co-learning methodologies, including roundtables, field visits, films, board games, collaborative cooking and book-making, and deliberative group discussions. We also propose keeping a field diary and we invite the self-organization of collective essays, art or other materials reflecting on some of the main learnings emerging from the school.
The school is aimed for graduate students (Ph.D. and Masters), early-career/ postdoctoral researchers, civil society and social movement organization members, educators, and other interested candidates from the public at large. The school will accept a maximum of 25 applicants.
Executive Coordination: Ecology and Society Workshop (ECOSOC/CES)
* From ECOSOC-CES: Gustavo García-López (+ISS- The Hague), Irina Velicu (+PHOENIX),Gaia Giuliani (+DecolDev), Giacomo D'Alisa (+JUST2CE+PHOENIX), Lúcia Fernandes, Rita Serra, Gea Piccardi, Jonas Van Vossole, Roberto Sciarelli, Hestia Delibas, Teresa Meira, Isabel Ferreira, Sérgio Pedro (+PHOENIX), Joana Vaz Sousa (+JUST2CE), Arianna Porrone (+University of Macerata), Stefania Barca (+University of Compostela, +JUST2CE), Aline Simões Leite, Flora Pereira da Silva and Diana Viveiros.
* From other CES groups: Luciane Lucas do Santos (ECOSOL-CES), Beatriz Caitana (ECOSOL-CES), Teresa Cunha (CES, +Centro de Investigación por la Paz Gernika Gogoratuz), Giovanni Allegretti (+PHOENIX) and Patrícia Vieira (+ECO)
* From other groups and institutions: Paola Minoia (University of Helsinki, +DECOLDEV), Yafa El Masri (University of Padova, +DECOLDEV), Mario Pansera (Univ. Vigo, +JUST2CE), Miguel Diaz (ClimAção Centro), João Camargo (Climáximo), Nik Volker (Mining Watch Portugal), Renata de Almeida (Movimento Contra Mineração Beira Serra), Fátima Teixeira (Movimento Pelo Sudoeste, +Tamera Eco-Village), Ana da Costa Silva and Paulo Constantino (PROTejo), Vera Silva (CRIA-UC, +Coletivo Vozes de Dentro), Ana Cristina Pereira alias Kitty Furtado (CES, +NARP - Núcleo Antirrista de Porto), Carmo Gê Pereira (University of Porto, +Lóbula), Gabriela Rocha (República Rosa Luxemburgo), Francesca Esposito (University of Westminster, +Abolish Detention Hassockfield), Rosinha Madeira (independent teacher), Joana Lages (Como Ficar Em Casa), Sara Moreira (Open University of Barcelona, +Jornal Mapa, +Colectivo Feminista do Porto), Jorge Gonçalves (Minga Cooperativa Integral, +JUST2CE), Ruxandra Ivan (Univ. of Bucharest), Alice Iancu (SNSPA-Bucharest), Paolo Gorgoni alias Paula Lovely (Fast Track Cities, +VIRAL), Stefan Candea (European Investigative Collaborations), Andreea Bonea, Wagner Merije (Aquarela Brasileira), Diego Andreucci (ISS- The Hague, +Undisciplined Environments), Tatiana Roa Avendaño (CENSAT-Agua Viva Colombia, U. Amsterdam), Joey Ayoub (The Fire These Times) O Pioneiro do Mondego, Gremio Operario de Coimbra, and Casa de Esquina.
Languages: The school is open to English, Portuguese and Spanish. Peer-to-peer translations will be organized collectively as part of the school as needed.
Application Instructions: Send to email@example.com by May 1, 2022, the following documents, in one single PDF:
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- 250 words Description of yourself, your relevant interests and experiences
- 750 words (max.) Motivation Letter, stating why you wish to participate in this Summer School, what you hope to gain and what you hope to contribute
- May 1: Application deadline
- May 15: Notification of acceptance
- June 15: Registration deadline
- PHOENIX: The Rise of Citizens Voices for a Greener Europe (2022-2025) (GA 101037328)
- JUST2CE: A Just Inclusive Transition to Circular Economy (2021-2024) (GA 101003491) https://just2ce.eu/
- COST ACTION Decolonizing Development (2020-2024, GA: 19129) https://decolonise.eu/
- Prince Claus Chair in Equity and Development (2019-2021)
- ECO: Animals and Plants in Cultural Productions about the Amazon River Basin (2022-2026) (GA 101002359)
Children-friendly event: We are planning to make the school children friendly, for those who (like some of us) have to care for them during the dates of the school. If you are considering bringing children, let us know so that we can explore shared care options to include them.
Inclusive mobilities and other particular needs: In case of any diverse mobilities or other special needs for attending this activity, please let us know in advance and we will find inclusive solutions together.
Contact: For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credits: Protest against the false narrative of “green mining”, May 5, 2021, Lisbon. The banner, made by residents of Covas de Barroso, a region threatened by lithium mining, reads "BARROSO IS THE ONE THAT IS GREEN" ("VERDE É O BARROSO"). Photo by Guilhotina.info
Covid-19 contingency plan: This version of the program is somewhat preliminary and may be subject to changes, depending on the availability of collaborators, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic. In the case in which the pandemic continues to affect travelling plans, international speakers may be delivering their lectures via Zoom. In the case in which the pandemic prohibits hosting events in person, national speakers would be delivering their contributions via Zoom, and planned social events would also be cancelled and replaced by Zoom working group sessions. In that case, registration fees for participants would be lowered and all speakers would be offered a honorarium.