Despite Extractivism draws inspiration from feminist political ecology and ecofeminist thinking around care: a small word that holds many meanings and resonances in the context of extractivism. We might consider ‘care’ as extractivism’s ‘other’, given the ways the term ‘care’ envelopes the practices and orientations that maintain, sustain and repair life. Some quotations that resonate with Despite Extractivism and our wider project are found here:
“in the most general sense, care is a species activity that includes everything we do to maintain, continue, and repair our world so that we may live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, our selves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining web.” Berenice Fisher and Joan C. Tronto, “Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring,” in Circles of Care, ed. Emily K. Abel and Margaret Nelson (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1990: page 40).
“Social reproduction is the fleshy, messy, and indeterminate stuff of everyday life. It is also a set of structured practices that unfold in dialectical relation with production, with which it is mutually constitutive and in tension. Social reproduction encompasses daily and long term reproduction, both of the means of production and the labor power to make them work.” (Cindi Katz, 2001 Vagabond capitalism and the necessity of social reproduction. Antipode, 33(4): page 711)
When researchers use languages of care in their work, this is often undertaken in two related ways. First, care as a way of thinking, as an analytical tool, as a political lens, as a way of thinking with/thinking through. And second, care as a practice/sphere/area of everyday life. In Despite Extractivism, our explorations connect with both of these understandings: care through reciprocity (between people, within communities of place and beyond, between humans and more-than-human natures), resistance (caring for life and livelihoods at personal, community and planetary scales). Despite extractivism also invites us to centre attention on the everyday: on the mundane, unspectacular, messy practices of care that unfold and press against the logics of extractivism: on the frontline and among our various communities and networks.