POSITION PAPER 2022
IT WAS NOT A CONCLUSION, BUT THE MUCH NEEDED BEGINNING OF A DIFFERENT DESIRE!
[SEPTEMBER 9th, 2022] The CONVOCATORIA ECOLOGISTA, co-organized by various groups from Southern Italy, is over since a few days. In the upcoming time, we will focus on dealing with the political take of every discussion and initiative. We hope to share it not only with the groups and individuals joining the gathering, but also with all those who feel the need to build new languages and new practices, within which ecologism can take a social dimension, at once radical, intersectional and transnational.
The basis of this gathering is to be found in the need to create spaces of sharing, of social exchange and of emancipation where care and political autonomy are not only elements of a new lexicon. The spaces of care and autonomy are by now to be acknowledged as the ground where we can interconnect the wounds, violences, desires and needs since always invisibilized in any margin. In that South which lives daily under the blackmail of the colonial power represented by the Western institutions and the economic structures they safeguard.
Our neighbourhoods are fragmented and atomized, entrapped in the blackmail health-work-environment and in the exploitation, subjugation and social control of bodies and territories. We aimed to counterpose the possibility to imagine new processes of liberation starting from the ecologist positioning that was born from our lived experiences. From the first day, with the discussion with the activists of DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture, until the evening with the group session led by Carla Panico on Feminisms and the Southern Question, we put into practice on the one side the [collective and individual] questioning of our privilege, and on the other one, a wider political claim, aiming to connect the complexity of living a Southern margin today with the systemic violence addressing race, class, gender, species.
Beyond the need to create assemblies able to relate the heterogeneous lived experiences in terms of political subalternity, we hoped to re-politicize our daily life [though temporarily] in order to live it as a communal practice at a spatial level. The silkprint and queer/transfeminist self-production workshops, the concerts, the dj-sets [warm thanks to the Clitox], the [vegetarian/vegan] communal meals were conceived in line with the vision of the CONVOCATORIA. We do believe that the ecological praxis has to put at the forefront the intersection of the forms of violence and at the same time a political take aware of the complexity of the communal living, so to avoid an environmentalism which neutralizes the subversive potential of ecologism as a process of collective liberation.
These three days aimed to give a new meaning to the strong political dimension of the South transnationally, in the idea of collectively decolonize imageries, knowledge, practices throughout the Mediterranean. This is what the South means to us: to deconstruct the whiteness of our thinking while acknowledging that living in a land which is marginalized, blackmailed and exposed to daily violence is not a mere geographical matter.
Our Souths reject the dominant narrations that render bodies and territories exotic and make them the targets of new logics of neoliberal accumulation. They refuse to be considered communities to be ‘civilized’ in the name of progress and gentrification. Our Souths are a political space though which we can radically rethink new worlds and new ways of being and of living, more urgent than ever facing the socio-ecological crisis and the political violence that pervades every space that we want to inhabit.
We cannot avoid, as the Taranto’s community – devastated by the extorsion of the industrial and military monocultures, by ENI, by the cruise tourism – as the community of a sacrifice zone, to acknowledge the radical beauty of the People’s March that took place on August 28th. Walking throughout the streets and the symbols of power of our city together with the groups and individuals who joined the CONVOCATORIA, meant to us to heal the wounds that still paralyze a territory used to the normalization of violence, pain and death.
In this respect, we think that a community which in spite of everything resists to the manifold rights denied should not remain passive. On the opposite, we believe that it is urgent to relaunch precisely from the daily lives of our communities: from the neighbourhoods resisting to the wind days, from the off-site students who try to connect with the local ones, from the women who resist to the many diseases their bodies have to face [endometriosis, vulvodynia, pollution of the breast milk], from the children who are denied the right to health and education but still try to live rather than survive, from the steel-workers who never accepted the choice between unemployment and disease. We do believe that, starting from this People’s March, we can create spaces of autonomy where to lay claim to our own bodies means to lay claim to our own territories.
The joy, wariness, sharing, rage, desires and need of self-determination, the complexity of our lives and many other intersections in between the emotions and the affectivities experienced, brought into being these three days which saw communities and bodies in struggle.
At the roots of the imageries we have been deprived from, we found back the collective power of a different and much needed new beginning. With Rage and Love, we wanna thank you all for contributing to that: from the sharing of the labor of care to the political participation to every debate, this first edition of the CONVOCATORIA finds its political meaning in having proved that from our Souths we can re-invent worlds.