Sustainability: Design for the Pluriverse

Sustainability: Design for the Pluriverse

By Arturo Escobar

In ‘Sustainability: Design for the pluriverse’ Escobar brings together contemporary discussions of Transition Discourses - that is, discourses that argue for radical cultural and institutional transformations in ‘a transition to an altogether different world’. As discussed by Enrique Leff in our previous post, Escobar signals how these discourses have been emerging with particular strength in environmental and sustainability discussions in recent years. To Escobar, however, they highlight the necessity to overcome the modern ontology that ‘presumes the existence of One World – a universe’ and expand on the multiplicity of worlds possible. Rather than restricting the possibilities of re-thinking our debate on sustainability, Escobar emphasizes ‘the profound relationality of all life, these newer tendencies show that there are indeed relational worldviews or ontologies for which the world is always multiple – a pluriverse.’ His calls to open and re-imagine our discussions in this pluriversal understanding of sustainability are an inspirational contribution for Alternautas that we are happy to share with you as the opening post of 2015.

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Environmental Rationality: The Social Re-Appropriation of Nature

Environmental Rationality: The Social Re-Appropriation of Nature

BY ENRIQUE LEFF

The environmental crisis emerges like a civilizational crisis: a crisis of Western culture; of modern rationality; of the globalized world-economy. It is neither an ecological catastrophe, nor a simple imbalance in the economy. It is the dislocation of the world which results from the reification of being and the overexploitation of nature; it is the loss of existential meaning that comes from rationalistic thought in its negation of otherness.

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"Churcar" Alternatives to Development

"Churcar" Alternatives to Development

By Eduardo Gudynas

Translated by Julien Vanhulst and Ana Estefanía Carballo

As  ideas  about  development  are  so  deeply  rooted,  attempts  to  seek  alternatives are  almost  like  swimming  against  the  prevailing  cultural  current.  To  effectively pursue these alternatives, radical changes are necessary from the source. Instead of quoting Marx or Lenin, I consider more appropriate to draw  inspiration from an old word of the Tacanas in Bolivia: “Churcar”.

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Buen vivir: new wine in old wineskins?

Buen vivir: new wine in old wineskins?

By Adrian E. Beling & Julien Vanhulst

What is Buen vivir, why is it interesting, and what makes it relevant beyond its birth-land in the Andean-Amazonian region of the Americas? Is it aything new at all, or is it just a rehashed and overrated discourse? What prospects are there for Buen vivir as the organizing principle of a cultural model for global sustainability? In the limited space of the article that follows, we intend to explore these and similar questions around an idea that has unexpectedly popped-up in global academic and political debates in recent years.

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