Resistance is Fertile: Prefigurative Politics against Extractivism in Western Europe

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Around the world, unwanted and destructive projects are the frontlines of movements for radical climate justice. Here activists are not only directly obstructing the projects, but are also constructing other worlds that reimagine life beyond capitalism and extractivism. Through prefigurative politics, the occupation of the land is also an occupation of the dominant worldviews and ways of doing things, and communities are experimenting with ways of living at the intersection of environmentalisms, climate justice, anarchism, anti-capitalism and more. Three cases from Western Europe provide insights into alternative or Degrowth ways of organising: "Against an airport and its world", La Zad in rural France is an experiment in the commons; 'Grow Heathrow' is a small eco-squat near London opposing Heathrow's third runway; and, in the defence of Hambacher Forest from a coal mine in Germany, activists have built treehouses and a non-hierarchal community. These are symbolic and mobilising struggles, fundamentally bringing into question 'the system' and the way we relate to nature, and putting something worth fighting for in the way of something worth fighting against. The inhabited resistances are analysed as degrowth realities, and the ways in which these are politically organised and mobilised are explored. Located in sites of relative nature, these struggles also bring to light ways of dwelling in, defending with and relating to nature which challenge the popular portrayals of nature within representations of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventResisting Extractivism in Border Zones: rt and Protest from the Arctic North to the Global South - Tromso, Norway
Duration: 15 Nov 201816 Nov 2018


ConferenceResisting Extractivism in Border Zones


  • Extractivism
  • resistance and activism
  • environmental justice
  • prefigurative politics


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