October 1st marked the 10th anniversary since squatting was criminalized in the Netherlands. This infamous decision by the Dutch state led to an immense increase of speculation in the housing market, doubling the average cost of housing in just 10 years. ‘Coincidentally’, over the same period homelessness has also doubled, and social inequalities have skyrocketed. All of this before the effects of a global pandemic have even started to set-in. To commemorate the anniversary the Dutch squatting movement organized a nation-wide protest action, emphasizing squatting as a form of resistance against the multidimensional crisis we are currently facing.read more
For many of us, swimming will have provided a temporary relaxing escape from the pandemic and searing heat in the recent summer months. In this piece republished from Undisciplined Environments, Elliot Hurst suggests the activity holds more radical potential than one might think.
The following text is a repost of an open letter to the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, setting out a manifesto for a reorganisation of the city in response to COVID-19. The manifesto currently has over 1600 signatures. Visit the manifesto website for more details and to add your signature: manifiesto.perspectivasanomalas.org/en
As it becomes abundantly clear that humanity as a whole has crossed the ecological limits of the earth, and that countries like China and India are fast joining the already-industrialised nations in stressing the planet even more, the search for radical alternatives is humanity’s most urgent quest. There is no doubt that, as a species, we have to downsize if we are to respect the limits, not only for ourselves but equally important, for the millions of other species that co-inhabit the earth with us.
But is ‘degrowth’, or the reduction of material and energy uses for human use, a valid and viable strategy for the ‘global South’, i.e. countries and populations (including some in industrialized countries) that have not reached an excessive or even acceptable level of prosperity? I think an emerging framework of well-being from India could offer some perspectives on this. read more
Growth is no option, considering that an absolute decoupling of growth and resource use has historically proven impossible – This position unites everybody who contributes to the Degrowth-conference. In the media too there is an increasing presence of growth critique. Even the German liberal weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” (No. 10/2013) ends an editorial on this topic saying “The Germans […] have grown up”. This conclusion stems from an analysis of the possessions of a (non-existent) average youngster called Jan Müller compared to his fictive predecessor, Wilhelm Müller, hundred years ago and also set in relation to a Leon Müller in 2038 who – if assuming the often-targeted growth-rate of 3% per annum – would have to eat, shop or generally consume already twice as much. read more