WEAVING ALTERNATIVES #10: A periodical of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives

WEAVING ALTERNATIVES #10: A periodical of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives

Ways of Knowing

Editorial Note

Dear readers,

The 10th edition of the GTAGlobal Tapestry of Alternatives periodical highlights the importance of recognizing the multiple forms of knowledge and practices that exist outside of dominant Western-centric paradigms. It emphasizes the need to shift towards a more holistic and pluralistic approach to understanding and engaging with alternative forms to development, particularly in the context of the ongoing global crises we face.

This edition is a tribute to our beloved elder Gustavo Esteva, marking one year of his passing away. We celebrate and remember his contributions to the field of alternative development, his commitment to decolonization, and his belief in the power of community-led action. The tribute includes personal reflections as well as other resources that highlight his work and legacy.

This periodical also features an essay by Gabriele Caldas Cabral about the new Brazilian government under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and its impact on the country's social and environmental policies. The article highlights how the previous government's neoliberal and authoritarian agenda exacerbated inequalities and threatened the rights of marginalized communities. The essay also deliberates on hope and solidarity with the struggles of Brazilian social movements through the transition of government and highlights the importance of supporting alternative development models that prioritize human rights, ecological sustainability, and community self-determination.

“Guardians of Life” by Shrishtee Bajpai looks at the importance of protecting biodiversity and ecosystems through ruminations on various experiences from her life. It discusses the rights of nature and the role of indigenous communities in preserving nature and promoting sustainable practices, as well as the challenges they face in doing so. This essay emphasizes the need for collective action and solidarity in protecting the planet and it's inhabitants.

The piece by Xochitl Leyva Solano on “Theoretico-political ontoepistemic alter-natives” provides an introduction to the concept of ontoepistemic alter-natives, which refers to alternative ways of knowing and being in the world. The article discusses how ontoepistemic alter-natives are a response to the limitations and injustices of dominant ways of knowing and being, which often prioritize Western science and rationality over other forms of knowledge and ways of being. It highlights several examples of ontoepistemic alter-natives, including indigenous knowledge systems, feminist epistemologies, and ecological perspectives.

We are grateful for the incredibly insightful contributions offered by our authors. Alongside the articles, we also feature updates from our endorsers and weavers in India (Vikalp Sangam), Mexico (Crianza Mutua), Colombia (Crianzas Mutuas), and South-East Asia (MASSAMovement for Alternatives and Solidarity in Southeast Asia (South East Asia)). Some important announcements regarding the planning of the first GTA physical Assembly this year in Kenya are highlighted below.

This periodical has been put together with the collaborative efforts of Shrishtee Bajpai, Martin Aplaneta, Franco Augusto and Urvi Shah. We invite you to engage, reflect and dialogue on these essays.

Updates from GTA

GTA Assembly

The GTA Assembly is held every 3 months to introduce new members, follow up on updates and discuss upcoming plans. During January we had our Assembly #06 and most recent one in April, Assembly #07.

Recent events

We also participated in various international gathering, such as the Academy of Democratic Modernity (ADM) Gathering in Switzerland (February) and the “Greenpeace International's Alternative Futures” in Eretria, Greece (March).

Updates from our Weavers

The Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them. is a “network of networks”. Each of those networks acts in different parts of the planet by identifying and connecting Alternatives. They are the Weavers. The following are the networks that currently weaves the Global Tapestry of Alternatives. In the following section, our Weavers from India, Colombia and Mexico shares updates from their recent activities and actions.

Keep reading ->

Updates from our Endorsers

Tamera Peace Research & Education Center

This is an invite for an activist retreat in Tamera Peace Research & Education Center in Portugal, taking place July 22-31. This is a time of unprecedented danger, but perhaps also of unprecedented opportunity. Accelerating systems failure, climate emergency, mass species extinction, surveillance capitalism… How do we respond? What is ours to do? At this nexus of collapse, grief and mystery, we invite frontline activists, organizers and others active in systems change for a creative, regenerative pause, 10 days of experiential group immersion, nourishment for body, heart, mind and spirit, of ritual and conversations on the edges of our activism and our lives.

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Center for Civil Diplomacy in North and East Syria

Recently, the Center for Civil Diplomacy in North and East Syria, have been working on several issues:

From the organizational point of view: We are working to create a platform for civil diplomacy in all of North and East Syria that includes many civil society institutions and includes a large base that includes members of professional unions, cultural and ecological institutions, municipalities, universities, the union of religions, etc.

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Degrowth: International and regional news

By Anitra Nelson

The solely face-to-face Planet, People, Care: It Spells Degrowth! 9th International Degrowth Conference (29 August – 2 September) will take place within Degrowth Week, a free arts and conviviality festival, in Zagreb (Croatia) but organised cooperatively with neighboring capitals.

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Leadership for the Ecozoic

by Matthew Burke

The international event The Great Transition: Struggling in Times of Global Crisis will take place in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada from 18-21 May 2023 https://thegreattransition.net/: In order to move from resistance to a societal transformation, we need a real project of transition out of capitalism, based on critical knowledge produced both in the university and in social movements. We, therefore, invite citizens from diverse backgrounds to reflect on this question with our esteemed international guests, as well as a hundred panels and activities from speakers around the world.

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Post Growth Institute

Post Growth Fellow, Emilio Velis, publishes his first article about cultivating a post-growth relationship with knowledge in the digital age. The Offers and Needs Market (OANM) is hosting free, pay-what-you-can, monthly virtual events! Please join us on Wednesday, April 26 for the next OANM.
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Meeting “Autonomies in Practice" in Chiapas

By Xochitl Leyva Solano

The Colectiva El Cambalache, made up of seven feisty women of diverse roots, who live and struggle from Chiapas, called on the world to meet in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas (Mexico), from 29 March to 1 April 2023 to participate in the “Autonomías en Práctica (Autonomies in Practice) Gathering. In their announcement they said: “This meeting is about bringing together as many people as possible to talk, think, problematise, imagine and share practices of decolonial and anti-capitalist autonomy in general for communities, collectives, activists, researchers and people studying de/anti-coloniality … During the meeting we will be carrying out a Tianquiztli (Tianguis) activity in conjunction with direct and self-managed producers in the region.

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Feminist Development Policy

This brief contains recommendations for practitioners of the international development sector to shift the status quo of development and move towards feminist global collaboration.

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May First Movement Technology

By Melanie Bush

In recent weeks, May First Movement Technology (MFMT) member organization, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition launched a public-records sourced educational resource, the Watch the Watchers website. This website is a searchable index of over 9,300 sworn Los Angeles police officers, displaying their departmental photos, LAPD serial numbers, and other official information about each officer.

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To our Beloved Gustavo

One year after the departure of our beloved Gustavo Esteva, we share some words he wrote about the journey of Crianza Mutua Mexico as part of the weavers of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives. We share some fragments of a broader text entitled “Crianza Mutua e incidencia sobre Innovación Social.”

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The New Brazilian Government and the challenge of a systematic crisis

by Gabriele Caldas Cabral

Lula's victory in the presidential elections in Brazil, on October 30, 2022, represents a change of course for the country. Regardless of the opinion about the new president, it is clear that Lula did not enter the presidency to bring continuity to the Bolsonaro government. With an inclusive discourse, aimed at national reconciliation and focused on caring for the Brazilian people, Lula distances himself from Bolsonaro’s discourse of governing for the majority, bringing a perspective of marginalization of minorities, exacerbating the privileges of the elite and the militarization of the government.

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The Guardians of Life

by Shrishtee Bajpai

‘Indus has a right to sing,’ said a young girl of Chumathang village in Ladakh, while we sat on the banks of the river Indus (as blue as the sky above), listening to its ruffle caused by strong winds, surrounded by the majestic Trans-Himalayas. We were talking to children about their relationship with water, rivers and river rights. Another child, encouraged by the flow of conversations, said, ‘The river has a right to play.’ ‘Play?’ I wondered, ‘Yes, to play with stones, birds, fishes.’ Having had the conversation on rights of nature with several ‘experts’ who are often caught in the feasibility of the discourse, I wondered what made these children so obviously attuned to them. Amidst all that giggling around the river playing with fish and stones, it was evident that only children living along the rivers could articulate her rights in such an animated way, illustrating their deep connection. For them, ‘rights’ might be an alien framework but the agency of the rest of nature is not.

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Theoretico-political ontoepistemic alter-natives in times of war and civilisational collapse

by Xochitl Leyva Solano

What we are experiencing today on planet Earth has been called in different ways “World War IV”, “slow, silent and lethal social holocaust”, “systemic crisis”, “global crisis of capitalism”, “polycrisis”, “crisis of Western capitalist (hetero)patriarchal civilisation”, “crisis of the hegemonic civilisational pattern”. All these conceptualisations agree that the crisis we are experiencing is global and systemic.

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Book review of "Gustavo Esteva: A Critique of Development and other essays"

By Carlos Tornel

Gustavo Esteva remains one of the most committed post-development thinkers and public ‘deprofessionalized’ intellectuals of our time. He is perhaps best known for his work on post- development: his 1991 essay entitled ‘development’ became the central piece in Wolfgang Sachs edited volume that would embody Gustavo’s thought and action towards reclaiming, defending and creating commons throughout his life. However, Esteva contributed greatly to several schools of thought. I met Gustavo Esteva in 2015. My first encounter with him was one of the most profound intellectual and existential transformations of my life. I remained in contact with Gustavo until March 2021, when he sadly passed away. However, his work remains one of the most critical and comprehensive propositions of post-development and pluriversal thinking.

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