Arriscraft Speaker Series: What is Solidarity? | Anti-Extractivism

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)
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What is Solidarity?

Movements, research, and design for another world


Joan Kuyek, Mining Watch Co-founder, Ottawa
Martín Arboleda, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile 
Mae Bowley, Executive Director, Re:Purpose Savannah

Moderated by Liga Brammanis (she/her) and Lucy Lin (she/her) MArch students; with Yi Ming Wu (she/her) undergraduate student and Jane Hutton (she/her), Assistant Professor.

Architects specify materials drawn from around the globe, without having a clear understanding of their ecological and social costs. Over the past five hundred years, capitalist economies have reorganized the world into territories of cheap and valuable nature and labour. These extractions of inexpensive materials from peripheral areas of the world-economy enables a process that constantly forces indigenous people from their lands, creating a surplus labour force, that can command little for their work. Over the last half century, extraction through mining and harvesting processes has rapidly accelerated, destroying existing ecologies while producing vast landscapes of dangerous waste. Southern Ontario is the financial capital of the Canadian extraction industries. The office buildings that rise in Toronto’s core reflect the deep holes that extraction companies have dug in countries around the world. Given their significant role in material flows, architects need to better understand the socio-ecological risks of their work. Speakers in this conversation will address the relationships between landscapes of extraction and consumption and ways that architects can reconsider the materials they use in building.

Joan Kuyek (she/her) is a community-focused mining analyst, community organizer and adult educator living in Ottawa.  She was the founding National Co-ordinator of MiningWatch Canada from 1999-2009. She is the author of Unearthing Justice: How to Protect your Community from the Mining Industry (fall 2019) and Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach (2011) and a number of other books and publications. Before moving to Ottawa, she was a community organizer and facilitator for almost 30 years in Sudbury and other parts of Canada.

Martín Arboleda is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile. His research explores the role that primary commodity production performs in the political economy of global capitalism. His fields of interest include global political economy, critical social theory, and agrarian studies. He is the author of the book Planetary Mine: Territories of Extraction under Late Capitalism (Verso, 2020), as well as of a forthcoming book on radical economic planning, to be published in Spanish by Caja Negra Editora in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His articles on the political economy of extraction in Chile and Latin America have been published in scholarly journals such as Geoforum, Journal of Agrarian Change, Antipode, and Society & Space, as well as in non-academic outlets such as Jacobin Magazine, Jacobin América Latina, and Harvard Design Magazine. He is currently working on a long term research project on the political economy of the globalized agro-food system, as well as on the social and political history of agrarian planning in Latin America.

Mae Bowley (she/her) is the Executive Director of Re:Purpose Savannah, a non-profit that seeks to have a positive impact on our local and global environment by reducing the harmful effects of demolition on the health of our neighborhoods and by diverting large quantities of "waste" from the landfill, transforming it into community resources. Re:Purpose Savannah pays special attention to historic materials, particularly "old-growth" lumber that can be found in historic structures. Mae holds a Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Art in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University. She holds a Master of Art in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently earning a certificate in Historic Preservation from Savannah Technical College. Her professional background includes creative director for a manufacturing firm, market manager for an urban farm, and principal in her own marketing consultancy for creative startups, Bowley Creative. 

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