WEAVING ALTERNATIVES #11: A periodical of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives

WEAVING ALTERNATIVES #11: A periodical of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives

Editorial Note

Dear readers,

It is our pleasure to share Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them.’ eleventh periodical with you. This space seeks to build bridges between networks of Alternatives around the globe and promote the creation of new processes of confluence. You can know more about the process in our introductory note.

The Global Tapestry is, most emphatically, an ever-evolving process, and the 11th edition of the Weaving Alternatives periodical explores different aspects of this process. The contributions for this periodical are eclectic in nature, such as our endorsers engaging in discussions on various subtopics, and the essays featuring a variety of perspectives on activities across the globe.

The GTAGlobal Tapestry of Alternatives’s first physical assembly was held near Nairobi, Kenya, in early August. This assembly came at an incredibly important juncture within the Tapestry’s journey, and has reaffirmed both our solidarity with movements across the globe and our collective vision for dreaming of better futures. We are also very enthused about the 9th Degrowth Conference in Zagreb, Croatia, at the end of August through to the beginning of September 2023. The GTA has been a part of this space since 2016, and this time, we are facilitating two sessions on GTA, highlighting the need of building solidarities with the movements of the global south in the Degrowth movement.

Our members have been part of some very exciting events and spaces. The Post Growth Institute and its affiliated Fellows have been both hosting and facilitating incredibly important dialogues, such as Sheeza’s documentation of a podcast featuring Alternatives to Growth Economics models, along with what the Post Growth fellows themselves are doing to counter the larger capitalist machine, and the many different fields they engage in.

We also feature an excellent rumination on the intricacies of a composite African identity by Thobile, looking inwards and connecting with the larger context of the recently held African Liberation Dinners. This piece strikes an equal balance between poetry as introspection, the importance of ideals in discovering one’s own homeland and where this transformational dialogue can lead.

Through Greenpeace, we feature two articles on Alternatives taking place in Brazil and Nigeria. In the Amazonas capital Manaus, the Boca da Mata communal kitchen has been set up to regain ownership over food sovereignty through highlighting the importance of fresh food and the politics that lie within the kitchen. These women take ownership of their own autonomy, helped by Renata Pixei-Boi. The Boca de Mata is focussed on reviving Indigenous traditions in an urban setting, and does so in many different ways in a context ravaged by Covid-19.

In Kogi, Nigeria, three youngsters collectively known as Eco Elixirs have countered the problem of man-made floods caused by vast amounts of waste, by creating an app that intends to change the mindsets of their audience. Their aim is to encourage their audience to develop a sense of ownership and actionable perspective towards climate change, and because they concentrate on changing behavior they hope that this will be a long-term redefinition. Their initiative truly embodies the 'systemic and behavioral change' within the philosophy of the Global Tapestry.

This periodical has been put together with the collaborative efforts of Shrishtee Bajpai, Urvi Shah, Franco Augusto and Mugdha Trifaley. We invite you to engage, reflect and dialogue on these essays.

Updates from GTA

Physical Assembly in Kenya 2023

GTA held its first physical Assembly in Kenya earlier last month (8th-13th August) and renewed our bonds of companionship and affection, weaving together both a material Tapestry of fabrics from our individual contexts and a Tapestry of ideas featuring what our vision should look like going forwards.

The GTA core team along with the local partners met the Kenyan civil society. The objective of holding such a meeting was one, for GTA members to understand the current socio-cultural, economic, ecological and political situation in Kenya, and get a sense of the kind of alternative initiatives that communities and CSOs are involved in. And second, for Kenyan CSOs to understand the GTA’s objectives and activities. Through this, it is hoped that longer-term collaboration can be built between Kenyan groups and many from other parts of the world. This led to an inspiring sharing and a possibility of beginning of weaving alternatives in eastern Africa.

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Upcoming Events

Learnings For Alternative Futures Webinar: Travellers' University and Ashik Krishnan

The upcoming Pedagog webinars with Ashik Krishnan, co-founder of Travellers University, will be conducted on the 29th of September 2023 and 6th October 2023. The Travellers’ University is an initiative based on using Travel as a pedagogical tool, and focuses on Alivelihoods (livelihoods that are regenerative and meaningful); their fellowship involves mapping 52 such ‘Parindeys’ (loosely translates to ‘birds’) who are practicing Alivelihoods in different disciplines. Thus, the former webinar will have a discussion between the co-creators of the TU discussing the initiative’s origins, as well as connecting to the importance of Alivelihoods; the latter webinar is on the varied programs the TU hosts, most centrally the 52 Parindeys fellowship.

We invite you to explore a centrally experiential side of radical pedagogy through this two-part series!

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Planet Local 2023

Drawing on Local Futures networking and movement building over four decades, the three-day Summit will be our biggest, boldest and most international event yet. It will bring together leading minds and activists grappling with our planet's most pressing challenges. The Planet Local Summit will serve as the centrepiece of a widespread celebration of the active localisation networks in Bristol (UK) and surrounds. There will be farm open days, local business tours, markets, film screenings and more. The GTA will be present in various activities.

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Recent Events

Weaving Solidarity and Hope: Stories of Regeneration and Resilience

The volumes titled 'Weaving Solidarity and Hope: Stories of Regeneration and Resilience' bring stories of communities resisting and building transformative alternatives in conflict regions, war zones, exploitation, suppression and violence, all manifested in varied forms.

The first volume features seven such narratives from across the globe, threading expressions of varied possibilities of alternatives. These stories are of communities resisting and building transformative alternatives in conflict regions, war zones, exploitation, suppression and violence, all manifested in varied forms.

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Degrowth Conference Zagreb

The 9th International Degrowth Conference was held at Zagreb, Croatia from August 29th to September 2nd 2023.

GTA hosted two events during the Degrowth Conference: Exploring the Pluriverse: Understandings of crisis and alternatives from the global south presents a paper on the findings from in-depth and co-created conversations carried out with GTA weavers in Mexico, India, Colombia, and South-East Asia. Weaving Alternatives to Polycrises is a non-academic session inviting all conference participants interested in the weaving together of radical alternatives. More information can be found at https://degrowth.info/en/conference/9th-international-degrowth-conference-planet-people-care-it-spells-degrowth.

Updates from our Weavers

The Global Tapestry of Alternatives is a “network of networks”. Each of those networks acts in different parts of the planet by identifying and connecting Alternatives. They are the Weavers. In the following section, our Weavers, the networks that currently weave the Global Tapestry of Alternatives, from India, South-East Asia, Colombia, and Mexico shares updates from their recent activities and actions.

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Updates from our Endorsers

Regional Tapestry of Alternatives reflections: Leadership of the Ecozoic

Exploring a regional tapestry for northeastern North America: initial steps and reflections

by Matthew Burke and Juliana Neira

The GTA community recognizes the importance of regional networks within a broader global tapestry. How can we meet this challenge within capitalist, colonialist, and imperialist “centers”, so antithetical to alternatives even emerging, let alone the flourishing? Here we share and reflect upon our initial experiences in collectively identifying and promoting a network of alternatives in the region of so-called northeastern North America. Despite the challenges, we believe this regional approach provides a necessary scale of action for realizing the GTA vision.

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Shaping a Post-Growth Economy

By Sheeza Shah

Re-envision Business is a podcast by UpEffect highlighting the emerging need for responsible trade that uplifts communities frequently left behind. In each episode, innovators and thought leaders deconstruct conventional systems perpetuating economic inequality and spotlight models that are re-envisioning business.

For episode 20, Post Growth Fellow, Sheeza Shah, spoke to the Post Growth Institute (PGI)’s Executive Director, Donnie Maclurcan, to explore why we need an economy that values people’s needs ahead of corporate greed and what it will take to build the next economy.

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African Liberation: A New Story Unfolds

By Thobile Chittenden

In the beautiful month of May (which also happens to be my birthday month — but more importantly African Liberation Month), something special happened in South Africa.

A series of transformative African Liberation Dinners brought together incredible minds, leaders, thinkers, and change-makers. These gatherings were more than just events; they ignited a profound healing journey.

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Fighting for inclusion and justice in Brazil’s Amazonas capital

By Renata Nitta

At the meeting point of the Rio Negro and the Amazon lies Manaus, capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state, known for the precarious conditions in its fast growing shanty towns which lack basic infrastructure. In its first Indigenous neighborhood, Parque das Tribos, founded in 2014 on an abandoned plot of land and home to some 750 families from more than 30 ethnic groups, people are connecting younger generations with their roots to help counter the alienation they feel in the modern world.

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The creativity of youth is changing mindsets on climate change

By Renata Nitta and Fabian Ogochukwu

With the largest youthful population of any continent, the wisdom of the saying “The future of the world belongs to the youth of the world” strongly resonates in Africa. Despite daunting environmental challenges, young people are not afraid to move with the times and channel their creativity using modern technologies to tackle these problems.

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