Rebel or Sink? Belonging, relational subjectivities and the politics of knowledge in Extinction Rebellion Netherlands
A new wave of climate and environmental activism is sweeping the globe, and Extinction Rebellion is one of the prominent emerging movements demanding system change. I depart from the idea that systemic change requires that we re-evaluate and challenge hegemonic norms that structure whose bodies and politics belong to the struggle for climate and eco-logical justice. This Research Paper is based on activist research conducted alongside Extinc-tion Rebellion Netherlands (XRNL) to examine how dominant knowledges and subjectivities are resisted and/or reinforced within a heterogeneous activist ‘meshwork’, and how this af-fects belonging. I draw from feminist and decolonial theories which have worked towards unsettling dominant epistemic and ontological assumptions rooted in androcentrism, anthro-pocentrism and modernity/coloniality. By revisiting Dutch socio-ecological histories through these lenses, I illustrate how dominant modern subjectivities and knowledges which claim ontological distance from nature and innocence in relation to intertwined gendered, racialised and ecological violence emerged, and how these shaped the environmental move-ment. I then draw from in-depth interviews and my own embodied knowledge as an XR rebel to explore the possibilities for transformative belonging across multifarious boundaries with and within XRNL, to co-think with the movement how affective ties between humans and with the more-than-human can rework power relations and inform a transformative politics. I focus on the discursive interventions made by XR’s emphasis on telling the truth about the climate and ecological crisis, and on the ways in which its regenerative culture is reorienting subjectivities towards relationality and vulnerability and mobilising mourning as political praxis.
|Keywords||Extinction Rebellion, climate justice activism, social movements, politics of knowledge, more-than-human, belonging, relationality|
|Thesis Advisor||Icaza, Rosalba|
|Series||Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)|
Zantvoort, Fleur. (2019, December 20). Rebel or Sink? Belonging, relational subjectivities and the politics of knowledge in Extinction Rebellion Netherlands. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/51403