A very powerful discussion of the civil society “intersectionality” gap with implications for the transition to a post growth society.
Despite making powerful criticisms of multinational mining corporations, an NGO-organized conference in Cape Town ignored essential links with related struggles
In southern Africa, the Zulu and Xhosa word ‘Indaba’ is used for important gatherings or conferences. February’s ‘Alternative Mining Indaba,’ challenging a pro-corporate conference held at the same time, was organized by the Economic Justice Network of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa, in association with Norwegian Church Aid, Oxfam, Benchmarks Foundation, Diakonia and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa.
DISCONNECTING THE MINERALS-ENERGY-CLIMATE DOTS Intersectionality missing-in-action at Cape Town’s Alternative Mining Indaba
by Patrick Bond
Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society in Durban, South Africa. This article was first published in Pambazuka News.
Sometimes a single event reveals crucial stories about our strengths and weaknesses in advancing progressive social change and ecological sanity. Early last month I sought out intersections between three simple phenomena: the predatory extractive industries now looting Africa; our energy access crises (especially here in South Africa); and climate change.
I thought that progressive civil society allies might begin to assemble their strengths in class, gender, race, generational and environmental consciousness; that they would fuse activist passion and NGO technical sophistication; and that they could draw upon lessons from Africa’s many great anti-extraction struggles.
I fear I was wrong. Even with the best will, and amongst truly exceptional activists and strategists at the Cape Town Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) from February 9-12, a typical civil society “intersectionality” gap was glaringly evident.