Decolonizing degrowth in the post-development convergence: Questions, experiences, and proposals from two Indigenous territories
Padini Nirmal, Dianne Rocheleau, 2019
A growing coalition of degrowth scholar-activist(s) seeks to transform degrowth into an interdisciplinary and international field bridging a rising network of social and environmental justice movements. We offer constructive decolonial and feminist critiques to foster their productive alliances with multiple feminisms, Indigenous, post-development and pluriversal thought and design (Escobar, 2018), and people on the ground. Our suggested pathway of decolonial transition includes re-situating degrowth relative to the global south and to Indigenous and other resistance movements. We see this decolonial degrowth as a profoundly material strategy of recovery, renewal, and resistance (resurgence) through practices of re-rooting and re-commoning. To illustrate what we mean by resurgence we draw from two examples where people are engaged in ongoing struggles to protect their territories from the impacts of rampant growth—Zapatista and allied Indigenous groups in Mexico, and three Adivasi communities in the Attappady region of southern India. They are building economies and ecologies of resurgence and simultaneous resistance to growth by deterritorialization. We argue that a decolonized degrowth must be what the growth paradigm is not, and imagine what does not yet exist: our separate and collective socio-ecological futures of sufficiency and celebration in the multiple worlds of the pluriverse. Together, the two cases demonstrate pathways to autonomy, sufficiency, and resurgence of territories and worlds, through persistence, innovation, and mobilization of traditional and new knowledges. We offer these as teachers for the transition to decolonial degrowth.