Towards the Hopeful Anthropocene

Projektový tým (Petr Jehlička, Petr Daněk, Jan Vávra & Miloslav Lapka) organizuje konferenční sekci Towards the Hopeful Anthropocene: Sustainability Experimenting from the Margins na 8. ročníku EUGEO CONGRESS ON THE GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE, pořádaném 28. 6.–1. 7. 2021 v Praze. Anotace sekce je v anglickém jazyce.

The intensifying gravity of sustainability challenges on the global scale underlines the need to search for ‘outside the box’ responses. Embracing Holly Jean Buck’s (2015) claim that ‘geographers are well positioned to experiment’, this Panel Session sets out to explore sustainability experiments flourishing in places that are rarely associated with the advancement of sustainability thinking. By sustainability experiments we mean processes of inventive interventions, everyday behaviours and practices that challenge mainstream approaches to addressing predicaments characterizing the Anthropocene. Relying on geography’s predilection for ‘reading for difference’ (Gibson-Graham 2008) the Panel Session seeks ‘to bring new worlds’ into being by making visible the range of existing sustainability experiments from marginal, peripheral and semi-peripheral places. These places are not necessarily defined only by their geographical location outside the ‘West’, but also by their marginal position within the mainstream economy and/or the knowledge production system. This endeavour is inspired by post-colonial calls to incorporate work from ‘outside of the core’ in the production of geographical knowledge. This is an increasingly important undertaking as much of geographical scholarship on sustainability tends to rely on theories and concepts generated by research conducted in the ‘core’, and thus its vitality and efficacy is assessed according to criteria derived from research conducted in the ‘centre’. As a result, findings often tend to replicate and confirm, rather than challenge and extend, extant knowledges and theorisations. To counter these tendences, the Panel Session’s main aim is to extend what is considered sustainability ‘general knowledge’ to include insights from exploring imaginative experiments – both formal and informal, both market-based and non-commercial, both ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’, and preferably at the intersection of these binaries – from places on the margin. These experiments address a range of issues including sustainable resource and energy use and adaptive responses to the fast-changing environment and may include, among others:

  • renewable energy systems and practices
  • waste reduction and prevention strategies
  • foraging practices
  • agroecology schemes
  • smallholder food production (gardening, food self-provisioning)
  • sharing economies
  • schemes and practices nurturing generosity and care for others’ needs
  • small scale circular economy schemes

Despite their appearance of small scale, marginality or niche character individually, collectively these experiments might amount to a vision with transformative capacity to turn the current epoch’s gloomy outlook into a more hopeful Anthropocene.

Keywords: everyday; experiment; informality; periphery; post-colonial thinking

Termín zaslání abstraktů 31. ledna 2021

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