Women’s Organizing against Extractivism: Towards a Decolonial Multi-Sited Analysis

Citation:

Caretta, Martina Angela, Sofia Zaragocin, Bethani Turley, and Kamila Torres Orellana. 2020. “Women’s Organizing against Extractivism: Towards a Decolonial Multi-Sited Analysis.” Human Geography 13 (1): 49–59.

Authors: Martina Angela Caretta, Sofia Zaragocin, Bethani Turley, Kamila Torres Orellana

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
In Anglophone geography, proposals have called for the decolonization of geographical knowledge production to be focused on tangible and material manifestations of how dialogue is initiated and mediated among different ontologies and epistemologies. We strive to respond to this call by empirically cutting across the American continent to highlight the embodied and transnational dimensions of natural resource extraction. Across the Americas, extractive industries’ water usage often brings corporations into prolonged conflicts with local communities, who mobilize to resist the initiation and/or expansion of extractive activities that they view as threatening to their health, way of life, and their families and communities’ territories. Through two case studies from West Virginia (WV), USA, and Cuenca, Ecuador, we propose an analytical framework capturing how women organize against the extractive industry as a result of embodied water pollution. We do this with the aim of decolonizing geographical knowledge production, as we propose a decolonial, multi-sited analytical approach, which serves to rethink the scale of effects of extractive industry. By showing how resource extraction affects women’s bodies and water while also effectively allowing us to compare and contrast embodied water relations in WV and Ecuador, we better understand how extractivism works across scales—the body, the environment, and transnationally. We contend that a multi-sited approach disrupts the North–South geographical discursive divide and furthers a decolonial geographical approach in making apparent the embodied production and lived experience of territory across various scales. In this piece, we promote debates on decoloniality within Anglophone geography by proposing that we must not only consider epistemologies and spatial ontologies outside the western canon, but engage with practices and theories occurring in different parts of the globe in a simultaneous fashion as well. We call on fellow geographers to do the same.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
En la geografía anglófona, las propuestas han pedido que la descolonización de la producción de conocimiento geográfico se centre en manifestaciones tangibles y materiales de cómo se inicia y media el diálogo entre las diferentes ontologías y epistemologías. Nos esforzamos por responder a este llamado cortando empíricamente a través del continente americano para resaltar las dimensiones encarnadas y transnacionales de la extracción de recursos naturales. En todo el continente americano, el uso del agua de las industrias extractivas a menudo lleva a las empresas a conflictos prolongados con las comunidades locales, que se movilizan para resistir el inicio y / o la expansión de actividades extractivas que consideran amenazadoras para su salud, formas de vida y sus familias y los territorios de sus comunidades. A través de dos estudios de caso de West Virginia (WV), EE. UU. y Cuenca, Ecuador, proponemos un marco analítico que muestra cómo las mujeres se organizan contra la industria extractiva como resultado de la contaminación del agua. Hacemos esto con el objetivo de descolonizar la producción de conocimiento geográfico, ya que proponemos un enfoque analítico descolonial y de múltiples ubicaciones, que sirve para repensar la escala de efectos de la industria extractiva. Al mostrar cómo la extracción de recursos afecta los cuerpos y el agua de las mujeres y, al mismo tiempo, comparar y contrastar de manera efectiva las relaciones hídricas incorporadas en VM y Ecuador, comprendemos mejor cómo funciona el extractivismo en diferentes escalas: el cuerpo, el medio ambiente y transnacionalmente. Sostenemos que un enfoque de múltiples ubicaciones interrumpe la división discursiva geográfica Norte-Sur y promueve un enfoque geográfico descolonial al hacer evidente la producción encarnada y la experiencia vivida del territorio a varias escalas. En este artículo, promovemos debates sobre la descolonialidad dentro de la geografía anglófona al proponer que no solo debemos considerar las epistemologías y las ontologías espaciales fuera del canon occidental, sino también involucrarnos en prácticas y teorías que ocurren en diferentes partes del mundo de manera simultánea. Hacemos un llamado a otros geógrafos para que hagan lo mismo.

Keywords: Ecuador, extractivism, decoloniality, West Virginia, women, extractivismo, Mujeres, descolonialidad, Virginia Occidental

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Americas, North America, South America Countries: Ecuador, United States of America

Year: 2020

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