Rethinking “Social Transformation”: Understanding the Communitarian Revolutionary Actor

As the need to counter the neoliberal assault on the planet is felt around the world, the idea of social transformation is undergoing fresh scrutiny to make it relevant to contemporary challenges. David Barkin and Alejandra Sanchez explore the unfolding socio-political experiments taking place in Latin America to give us an insight into the “Communitarian Revolutionary Actor” ushering in change on the continent.

Read more

REDWeb Conversations Series – Cultivating autonomy in Rojava

Rojava is a significant experiment in grass-roots democracy in a region mired in desperate political conflict. The socio-political and economic achievements made over the last few years in Rojava form an aspirational inflection point in the history of the Kurdish people as well as that of West Asia. Ashish Kothari speaks with Yasin Duman on how the Autonomous Administration in Rojava became an agent of change while establishing stability in northern Syria.

Read more

Resistance Is Fertile – The Emerging Alternative Political Discourse in the Indian Parliamentary Elections

India is in the midst of a massive election campaign for the constitution of its 17th parliament since independence in 1947. While the electoral priorities of the mainstream parties are characterized by a false narrative of “development”, a rapidly growing civil society initiative is exploring an alternative political discourse which is underlined by socio-economic equality and ecological sustainability. Shrishtee Bajpai describes the intellectual and operative underpinnings of this initiative.

Read more

RED Conversations Series – A Unique Initiative In Central India

ACKnowl-EJ (www.acknowlej.org) is a network of scholars and activists engaged in action and collaborative research that aims to analyze the transformative potential of community responses to extractivism and alternatives born from resistance. The project aims to co-produce knowledge that can empower communities to push for change and geared towards the needs of social groups, advocates and social movements. It is doing this through partners in several countries, who are conducting in-depth case studies, contributing to the Environmental Justice Atlas (www.ejatlas.org), and producing collaborative reports and theoretical pieces based on this work. Its co-ordinators are the Environmental Science and Technology Institute at Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), and Kalpavriksh (Pune, India).

The ACKnowl-EJ partners met recently at Deer Park, Bir, Himachal Pradesh (India), to review the work done so far, and plan the final phase of the project (due to end in April 2019). In this first interview for REDWeb Ashish Kothari interviews Govind Hodi, Kumari Tai Jamkata, Izam Sai Katengey and Shubhada Deshmukh from Korchi, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, India. They are a group of activists involved with a unique initiative called the “Maha Gramsabha”, or the “Federation Of Village Assemblies”.

Read more

In Search Of A Grown-up Economy

Is it possible to create an alternative to the corporatized conception of a good life? How do we challenge the stranglehold of endless growth on our economic system? Katherine Trebeck and Jeremy Williams critically examine the orthodoxy of development in this article and introduce us to the exciting idea of “economic arrival”, which advocates for shared wellbeing on a healthy planet.

Read more

Engaging Communities in Resource Monitoring: The Political Ecology of Science as the Language of Power

How does the dominant politics of knowledge and power work in the context of conservation? Are certain forms of knowledge such as modern science privileged over indigenous knowhow? Kartik Shanker and Meera Anna Oommen discuss how their organization, Dakshin Foundation has forged an effective model of conservation by integrating local languages and traditions into its work in Lakshadweep, an island off the south-western coast of India.

Read more

RED Conversations Series – The Emerging Idea of “Radical Well-Being”

Paul Robbins talks with Ashish Kothari about the idea of “Radical Well-Being” and the road towards realizing it. This conversation is based on a presentation made by Ashish at the 2nd Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) held in Oslo, June 2018.

Read more

REDWeb Anniversary Series – “From Socialism to Eco-socialism – Turning Points On a Personal Journey Through The Marxist Theory of Socialism”

REDWeb completes its first year in September, and Saral Sarkar launches our anniversary initiative to understand and assess the work of Karl Marx in the context of the search for transformative alternatives. Sarkar uses his considerable experience as an analyst and an activist to help us fathom the immense integrity of Marx’s work as well as its imperfections. In this world ravaged and battered by ecological crises and economic peril for the vast majority of people, could eco-socialism be that viable path towards meaningful transformation that Marx had imagined and parsed for us?

Read more

Reflections on the Founding of the First Ecosocialist International

The search for transformative alternatives to the current miasma of neoliberalism is very much on. Ecosocialism is one such idea finding resonance in many parts of the world. Quincy Saul recounts the thinking and the efforts behind the founding of the First Ecosocialist International.

Read more

Mapping Grassroots Solutions: Lessons learned from the Utah Resilience Map Project

As grassroots solutions to the current neoliberal orthodoxy emerge all around us, it is important to figure out a way to make them physically accessible for people. Emily Nicolosi writes about the Utah Resilience Map, a path breaking effort putting alternatives emerging in and around Salt Lake City on a map. It’s a bold initiative which challenges the stranglehold of corporate online mapping and an emerging template for replication at other places.

Read more

Lessons from the Kickapoo: Radical Conviviality in Community Conservation

The Kickapoo River valley in Wisconsin, USA was condemned to reckless “development” in the 1970s as a mega-dam flood control project got underway. But that move was met with resistance from the Ho-Chunk people who consider the area their sacred homeland. Paul Robbins and Marcy West recount the powerful story of a community led and focused ecological revival of the Kickapoo valley, underscoring the triumph of negotiations and collaboration over mistrust and fear.

Read more

RED Conversations Series – “Alternative Futures: India Unshackled”

Ashish Kothari was recently on a book tour in the U.S., promoting “Alternative Futures: India Unshackled”, a book he recently co-edited with K.J. Joy. Here, he discusses the main themes of the book with Pallav Das and an audience at “Busboys and Poets”, an activist book-store in Washington D.C.

Read more

The Green Party of Germany – From Beacon of Hope to a Bog-standard Party

How do we think about alternative politics in light of the current stresses on the environment and the phenomenal increase in inequality, worldwide? Probably, the best place to start is to learn from similar experiments which took place in recent history. Saral Sarkar helps us understand the intellectual debate on the economy, ecology and social relations that took place within “green” politics in Germany, and its ramifications for the contemporary search for alternatives.

Read more

The Airport project of Notre Dame des Landes is dead! Long live the ZAD!

Newts can beat concrete! – if only we manage to build strong alliances with them. This is one of the main lessons from the 50-years long fight against the Notre Dame des Landes airport project in France. Maxime Combes and Nicolas Haeringer recount the incredible journey of a successful campaign that brought environmental activism and transformative prefigurative politics together.

Read more

European Water Movement – Statement from FAMA in Brasilia

Multinational corporations want to transform water as a commodity and promote financialization of water bodies and ecosystems, privatizing resources and commodifying a human right. Social movements, unions, local communities, feminist groups and indigenous peoples gathered in Brazil to organize and fight against that vile attempt.

Read more