Once a month, we put together a list of stories we’ve been reading: news you might’ve missed or crucial conversations going on around the web. We focus on environmental justice, radical municipalism, new politics, political theory, and resources for action and education.
We try to include articles that have been published recently but will last, that are relatively light and inspiring, and are from corners of the web that don’t always get the light of day. This will also be a space to keep you up to date with news about what’s happening at Uneven Earth.
This month, Palestine and Israel were all over the news. We collected some useful reading lists, essays and photo stories so you can dig deeper beyond the bite-size tweets and Instagram posts. Photography runs like a thread through our May readings: we featured a photo essay that documents the deep scars mining has left on our planet, and another on China’s ‘Cancer Villages’. We do have reasons to celebrate this month, though: a court in the Netherlands has ruled in a landmark case that the oil giant Shell must reduce its emissions, and Germany has formally recognized the atrocities committed against the Herero and Nama people of what is now Namibia as genocide, paying reparations of €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion). On top of that, we included our editor Aaron Vansintjan’s new piece on the insights on the imagination and the practice of democracy that the late David Graeber has left us with, an explainer on how Nigeria’s forests are being decimated to make charcoal for barbecues in Europe and the United States, and much more.
A small note that the articles linked in this newsletter do not represent the views of Uneven Earth. When reading, please keep in mind that we don’t have capacity to do further research on the authors or publishers!
Uneven Earth updates
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Top 5 articles to read
David Graeber: The power of the imagination. “For many people, Graeber turned the concept of democracy on its head. Rather than a bureaucratic process that must be engaged in every few years, democracy for Graeber was imaginative, active, and intensely personal. There is no inevitable arc of progress towards more or deeper democracy. Rather, democracy must be fought for, actively built into institutions, protected, and constantly renewed.”
News you might’ve missed
Justice for Palestine
Stories and explainers
The architecture of violence. A short film on architecture’s key role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the evolution of urban warfare.
Where we’re at: analysis
The curse of white gold? An interview with political ecologists Francisco Venes and Stefania Barca explores debates around lithium mining in Portugal.
The brutal reality of life in China’s most polluted cities. A photographer documents China’s ‘Cancer Villages,’ telling the human story of pollution.
Why aren’t we talking about farmers in India? They are fighting in a global war over the future of agriculture.
Just think about it…
Naomi Klein on climate change and family life. Here she shares her ideas on the big question of whether to have children and how we might begin the monumental work of saving the planet—and maybe even one another.
How we end consumerism. A video that looks at how degrowth and ecosocialism can work in tandem to stop consumerism and overconsumption.
A People’s Green New Deal. Max Ajl’s new book is an overview of the various mainstream Green New Deals, and a vision of a radical alternative: a ‘People’s Green New Deal’ committed to degrowth, anti-imperialism and agro-ecology.
Cities and radical municipalism
Driving cars out of our cities. The Car Free Megacities campaign sets out to transform London, Paris and New York.
To save the planet, kill minimum parking mandates. California was a pioneer in minimum parking mandates, which drive up housing costs and climate emissions. Now the state is ready to lead the nation in reclaiming our cities from parking lots.
How Vienna built a gender equal city. “In practice, gender mainstreaming takes many forms, such as ensuring government bodies use gender-sensitive language to communicate, or that public transportation includes illustrations of men with children to signal seats reserved for parents. A visitor to the capital might also notice the wide pavements for mothers navigating the city with prams or children, or the fact that a large proportion of the city, including the whole public transportation network, is wheelchair accessible.”
The race to reinvent cement. What if we could transform the material that built the modern world from a climate wrecker into a carbon sponge?
Midnight Sun. A new online magazine of socialist strategy, analysis and culture.
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