In the last years we can witness an increasing number of different initiatives, which try to develop more ecological ways of living in the city. Working on and with these initiatives has to be an intrinsic part of our discussions on degrowth, not at least because these initiatives fight the disastrous economical as well as ecological insanities and campaign for degrowth on a practical level in today’s ever growing metropolises.
What all these urban initiatives, be it food co-ops, share economy, community and guerrilla gardening or dumpster diving, have in common, is, that they try to establish new forms of communities and networks. Therefore these initiatives also tackle social questions of e.g. inclusion, inequality or accessibility. These social questions also include questions of gender, e.g. the division of labour. I want to connect these questions with the approaches of feminist ecological economics as well as ecofeminism and feminist materialism and the alternatives these theories developed. Connecting urban movements with queer feminist approaches can be especially fruitful when thinking about degrowth practices on a local level.
Have these small initiatives maybe the potential to question classical heteronormative economic systems? Can these initiatives show us new ways to care for each other? Can these initiatives even help us to create alternative concepts of thinking nature and environmental questions? Drawing on my qualitative research interviews with food co-op members from Vienna and my current research on queer-feminism and urban ecological commons, I want to answer these questions and develop a queer-feminist perspective on degrowth practices.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Queer-feminist reflections on urban ecological initiatives“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.