Despite Extractivism

Worlding – Exhibition Event


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In this webinar we explore extractivism as a worldview, and the worlds otherwise that persist and resist, despite extractivism. We welcome exhibition contributors and the communities they engage with guide us through their reflections on the theme of ‘worlding’.

Something we pay attention to in Feminist Political Ecology is how systems of power operate across scales, and we decided to theme our exhibition event series around this idea, starting with the body and embodiment, expanding to community and today considering ‘worlding’. Of course these themes are overlapping – embodiment and community are also central to the ways in which  we explore worlding. We consider how the works and contexts presented in Despite Extractivism invite us to relate and act ‘otherwise’ in different ways and through different registers. Working with the Zapatista definition of the pluriverse – ‘the world we want is a world in which many worlds fit’ – this webinar provided a common space to share stories and conversations across our differences.

To begin, María Faciolince Martina and Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik invited us to consider extractivism as a worldview or an act of worlding in a guided meditation.

María Faciolince Martina is an anthropologist, multimedia communicator and ecofeminist artist-activist working to shift dominant narratives around ‘development’, climate and gender justice. She’s currently a fellow at the Climate Vulnerable Forum, working with the Agam Agenda, an initiative reimagining the climate agenda through stories and art, and works with Culture Hack Labs on opening narratives and possibilities of world-making.

Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik is a campaigner, poet and researcher, working at the intersections of climate justice, historical memory, and transformative economics. He currently supports the Global Green New Deal, and Healthy Food Healthy Planet initiatives.

 We then invited Dewi Candraningrum to present the Kartini Kendeng singers she works closely with. In North Kendeng Mountain Central Java Indonesia, cement minings  and German based cement corporations have deforested and mined their way to profit and are met with Kartini Kendeng’s resistance. Kartini Kendeng are women ecological defenders against cement mining. The women from Kendeng sing a kidung or song every time they protest, in defiance against the extractive industries. Kidung is a chant of worship and prayer, dedicated to the giver of life, the creator of the universe and in appreciation of nature, which is the source of food, clean air, and the home of all humans, animals, and plants as sentient being. Kidung is a part of life for the women of Kendeng and is a reflection of their hopes and prayers. Kidung is sung by these women during all of their daily activities, when working in the rice fields and terraces, cooking, helping their children to study, and even during fighting for ecological and social justice. These kidung are religiously sung to initiate protests in the North Kendeng Mountains.

Dewi Candraningrum is an Indonesian painter known for her uncompromising and passionately vibrant colored of portrait paintings that deal with such themes as ecology, identity, the women faces and human bodies which she called as “womb document”. She founded studio Jejer Wadon & Alas Wadon and runs regular discussions on ecology, feminism, and gender with the community. In addition to her artistic work, she also currently teaches gender studies in several universities.

 Due to technical difficulties we were unfortunately unable to connect with the singers, however we listened to a recording of a Kidung (chant) reflecting on mining. Here are the words:


Kidung (Javanese)

Bumi Lestari

Karya Kartini Kendeng & Gunritno

Bumi, kang lestari, 

peparinge gusti

manungso kwajiban jogo lan ngopeni

mboten pareng ngrusak peparinge gusti, 

monggo sesarengan sami dipun jagi

tambang kang ngerusak kuwi koyo begal,

sing dibegal ora mung gelang kalunge 

sing dibegal kuwi nasib anak putune ×2

yen kabeh ditambang sumberane ilang

njur kaline garing ilang kedunge

alas wes ditebang nganti padang jingglang

njur saiki gununge arep ditambang.

tambang kang ngerusak kuwi koyo begal

sing di begal ora mung rojo koyone

sing begal kuwi nasib anak putune ×2

yen kabeh di tambang 

tanah dadi gersang 

njur bumine guncang 

berkahe ilang

anak putu amung uman rekasane

mung kumanan bledug awu lan limbahe

ibu, bumi, wes maringi

ibu, bumi, dilarani

ibu, bumi, kang ngadili

lhailahailalloh, almalikul hakulmubin

muhamadur rasulallah sodikul wadil amin

Lagu/Kidung (Indonesian)

Bumi Lestari

Karya Kartini Kendeng & Gunritno

Bumi, yang lestari, pemberian Tuhan, manusia wajib menjaga dan merawat.

Tidak boleh merusak penciptaan Tuhan. Mari bersama menjaganya.

Tambang yang merusak itu seperti perampok, yang dirampok tak hanya gelang- kalungnya (perhiasan) tapi juga nasib anak dan cucunya. x2

Jika semuanya ditambang, sumbernya hilang

lalu sungainya kering 

hilang sumber airnya

Hutan sudah ditebang hingga jadi padang terbuka, sekarang gunungnya juga mau ditambang.

Tambang yang merusak itu seperti perampok, tak hanya harta kekayaan, yang dirampok juga nasib anak cucu. x2

Jika semuanya ditambang, tanah jadi gersang, lantas bumi berguncang kehilangan berkah, anak cucu hanya mendapatkan penderitaan, hanya kebagian debu tebal dan limbah. 

ibu, bumi, sudah memberi, 

ibu, bumi, disakiti

ibu, bumi, akan mengadili

lhailahailalloh, almalikul hakulmubin

muhamadur rasulallah sodikul wadil amin

(doa yang biasa dilantunkan saat Istighosa)

Chanting (English) 

A Lasting World

By Kartini Kendeng and Gunritno

The world, that is lasting,

that God gives us,

Human are obliged to care

Can not destroy what God gives.

Let’s care for the world together.

Mining destroys

It is a robber,

It does not only rob the jewelries,  

But also rob the next generations’ life x2

If everything is mined,

the source is gone

And then the river is dried out

Gone the water

The forest has been cut, no trees left

Now you want to mine the mountain 

Mining destroys

It is a robber,

It does not only rob the cattle,  

But also rob the next generations’ life. x2 

If everything is mined,

soil is barren

the earth is shaking

the blessings are gone

Our next generation only left with suffering,

with dust and waste

mother earth gives us

mother earth being hurt

mother earth will judge

“lhailahailalloh, almalikul hakulmubin

muhamadur rasulallah sodikul wadil amin” 

(this is a prayer that often said in Islamic mass prayer, it means:

“None has the truth except God. And Muhammad is God’s messenger, he always keep his promises, make him a trusted person”)

After a short time for questions and reflections, V’cenza Cirefice and Lynda Sullivan shared their experiences of resisting extractivism across  Ireland through local traditional worldviews and international solidarity. They guided us in a closing reflection based on the idea of the Council of All Beings, looking at the world through another being . 

V’cenza is an Irish Research Council PhD researcher at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research explores resistance to extractivism in the Sperrins through participatory visual methodologies. 

Lynda Sullivan is an activist and writer from Belfast, who has spent years accompanying communities impacted by mining in Peru and Ireland


The Extracting Us exhibition and conversation series is co-curated by Siti Maimunah, Elona Hoover, Dian Ekowati, Alice Owen and Rebecca Elmhirst with critical insight and support from independent curator Celina Loh. Online exhibition designed and developed by Celina Loh with the Extracting Us Collective.

This project is made possible by support from 
ONCA Gallery, the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics at the University of Brighton, the Wellbeing, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity research network funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 764908), and collaboration with the Women in Action on Mining in Asia (WAMA) collaborative network and the ‘Sustainable’ Development and Atmospheres of Violence: Experiences of Environmental Defenders project funded by The British Academy.


WEGO-ITN (Wellbeing, Ecology, Gender and cOmmuny International Training Network) is an EU-funded research network contributing to the political ecology, feminist studies, human geography, anthropology, and development studies’ understanding of extractivism, commoning, care, communities, livelihoods, embodied subjectivities and resistance to development. WEGO-ITN is made up of scholar-activists working on feminist political ecology from ten institutions in six European Union countries: Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and ten institutions from eight countries for training and secondments: Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Uruguay and USA.

The Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics (SECP), based at the University of Brighton, undertakes interdisciplinary research to address global and planetary challenges such as climate change, human migration, social inequalities and resource access or depletion. SECP explores the environmental, spatial and cultural dimensions of ecological and social challenges in specific places, to offer new knowledge and practice for the creation of more sustainable and socially just societies.

ONCA logo

ONCA is a Brighton based arts charity that bridges social and environmental justice issues with creativity. ONCA promotes positive change by facilitating inclusive spaces for creative learning, artist support, story-sharing and community solidarity. ONCA Gallery works with artists, educators and organisations to co-deliver exhibitions, events and workshops that explore social and environmental issues.

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About Despite Extractivism

As with the Extracting Us exhibition, we invited the Despite Extractivism contributors to consider how their work can follow our guiding principles:

• The online exhibition brings together artistic and creative contributions that explore everyday community experiences of and responses to extractivism, and/or engage in ongoing conversations around extractivism, communities and care, in its various forms and registers.

• It includes three core aims:
– to challenge ‘north-south’ and ‘producer-consumer’ narratives on extractivism
– to listen to perspectives from those most affected, and develop actions of solidarity and resistance across countries and continents
– to challenge the viewer to make (sometimes unexpected) connections and develop solidarity (e.g, inviting the viewer to take specific actions or connect with the community

• The exhibition thinks about extractivism and care in terms of materials from (and of) the earth, and considers the experiences of humans and the rest of the natural world.

• The exhibition will include narratives of resistance where possible/relevant; and avoid relying on pathos that might develop an ‘us/them’ feeling

• The exhibition will work with quality materials while also challenging ‘professional’ or ‘distanced’ kinds of aesthetics

Despite Extractivism assembles expressions of care, creativity and community from diverse sites of extraction and geographical contexts. Extractivism is characterised by the violent accumulation of resources, which often devastates and disrupts affected communities and the natural world. Collectively, the works in this exhibition illuminate and explore ways of questioning, subverting and resisting the logics and impacts of extractivism.

Despite Extractivism
is part of the ongoing ‘Extracting Us’ collective journey exploring the  diverse, uneven but sometimes connected ways in which resource extraction also extracts from communities. It is an invitation to explore questions around extractivism and its logics, but also to explore the already-existing alternatives.  How do communities and creatives (struggle to) cultivate care for nature and for each other despite extractivism? Can sites of extraction be a fertile ground for alternatives?  Can artistic interventions help foster new sensibilities and solidarities with distanced extractive contexts?

Like weeds growing through the cracks in concrete, and in their flourishing slowly forcing the cracks to widen, the contributors to
Despite Extractivism scatter here their seeds of ways of thinking or being in extractive contexts. 

There are stories of artists who are involved with communities inhabiting landscapes threatened by destructive projects, imagining and practising ways of being which subvert and resist extractivism:  V’Cenza Cirefe’s
Counter-mapping in the Sperrins (resisting gold mining in Northern Ireland), Chesney’s Down The Line (resisting the HS2 railway in England)  and Federico Pardo’s forthcoming contribution (resisting gold mining in Cajamarca, Columbia).

There are illuminations of other tactics of resistance, from the creativity of the Kartini Kendeng women ecological defenders and their portrayals by Dewi Candraningrum (resisting cement mining in Java, Indonesia), to the counter-mapping initiative by the Pari Island community, JKPP and collectives to stop extractive tourism (Seribu Islands, Indonesia).

There are explorations of the uneven geographies of extractivism, with Karin Edstedt’s (Title) embroidery depicting the disproportionate environmental injustices of mining on indigenous communities (copper extraction conflict in Laver, Sápmi; coal mining in Kalimantan, Indonesia), and Sandro Simon’s audiovisual work Bidonmondes drawing attention to the omnipresence of extractivism through the everyday repurposing of imported palm oil canisters in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal (originating from extractive palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia).

There are intimate accounts of uprooting due to extractive projects, accompanied by the persistent determination to build or rebuild lives in Between Rivers by Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik (Intergenerational care and multidimensional extractivism, Russian Urals), This is my Home by Maria Rosa Pessoa Piedade & Marilene Ribeiro (dispossession caused by the Belo Monte dam, Brazil) and In the Forest We Believe by Albertus Vembrianto (Covid-19) exacerbates migration from a coastal area affected by gold mining waste, Papua, Indonesia).

Finally, there are invitations to engage with practises and performances which inspire embodied reflection on the destruction and destabilising effects of extractivism in distanced contexts: Arabel Lebrusen’s Toxic Waves II (in response to deadly failure of a dam at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil ) and Choules+Roisner’s
REGOLITHIC (in response to global extraction).

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