Discover more from Inhabit: Territories
Our bonds keep us strong
Hello from Inhabit. As you may have noticed, it’s been a quiet year for Territories. Some new projects have kept us busy, alongside the unexpected challenges of life in this chaotic time. Down south, friends are catching serious charges for their support of the movement to Defend the Atlanta Forest, while up north others are mucking out basements and contemplating a future in which no place is exempt from climate change. And we are all mourning deeply the sudden loss of a dear friend, to whom our next issue will be dedicated.
That’s all heavy business, but we intend to keep doing what we’ve been doing since we started this newsletter years ago—bringing together perspectives from the people and projects around the world who are passionately and creatively bringing new worlds into existence every day. Our network is made up of builders, fighters, makers, and thinkers, and our strength is defined by the bonds we share.
The world tilts and fragments. Whatever it takes, keep going.
A Report from the Terrain Vague in Montreal
Since the woods have been threatened, land defenders have used a wide array of tactics honed during solidarity with indigenous struggles to push back. Frequent rail and road blockades shut down operations and construction at the adjacent industrial hub. Militants have erected flaming barricades on the train tracks, stopping the flow of goods and destroying construction equipment. Mothers from Hochelega wake up early and stand in front of trains holding banners reading “resister et fleurir.” Neighborhood residents engage in planting projects and attend city council meetings, signing petitions and pressuring politicians to stop the construction. All of these tactics have grown out of a vibrant collective struggle for a space that is inseparable from the people who use it.
An interview with historian Nikolaus Brauns
The revolution suddenly turned an unbelievable number of people, who previously could not take part in social life at all, into social actors. I am thinking of retired men who volunteered to keep their neighborhoods safe in the face of jihadist attacks. I am reminded of a religious woman who told me that, in her previous life, she was at home all day doing housework. For this woman who had been tied up in conservative family structures all her life, the revolution was also a very personal awakening, a liberation from patriarchal chains. The new social relationships after the revolution were already evident there.
“As climate change escalates, people will become more mobilized, they’ll come together as a collective force.” Allegra Hyde on creativity and catastrophe.
“The location of vital minerals and materials dooms some communities to be uprooted, others to be enriched.” Anab Jain on myth, care, and the logic of extractivism.
“When anyone asks him why he works on cars for free, he can explain changing the community through direct action.” Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein on the Automotive Free Clinic.
“Kairos is this reminder of the kind of inherent unpredictability and creativity of every moment.” Jenny Odell on time, experience, and possibility.
“Radical in spirit and prefigurative in principle, autonomous zones are sociopolitical laboratories in which the shape of a viable future may well be cast.” Trevor Clarke on autonomous zones.
“A magical tech solution is constantly on the horizon, and it provides an excuse to not make the structural changes to our society that are necessary to address the crisis.” Paris Marx on the fallacy of green tech solutionism.
“Epochal shifts are inevitably fraught with danger. Yet for all their destructive potential, they are also full of possibility.” Jerome Roos on two sides of crisis.
“It’s not too much to say that to endanger the Okefenokee would be to endanger the whole world.” Margaret Renkl on the fight for Okefenokee Swamp.
“We need places where we can come together—to care for ourselves and for one another, to decide from among the courses of action available to us, and to bolster our collective capacity.” Adam Greenfield on the construction of Lifehouses.
“Brand had a top-down approach to social enlightenment, an elitism that, more than any ideology, position, or interest, has guided his whole life.” Malcom Harris on Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Catalog, and the fate of the counterculture.
“The metapolitical conditions required for secularization have evolved into the collapse of society-state mediations, turning to police powers to maintain the ‘one piece garment’ of social life.” Gerardo Muñoz on the gap between politics and representation.
“The margins, if lucky enough to escape disturbance or destruction for a time, can become a valuable spiritual reserve.” The latest dispatch from Youthology.
You’re on Path B,