Hanna Werner, University of Erfurt; Antje Linkenbach, University of Erfurt; Shelley Feldman;
With a focus on South Asia, this panel examines ecologies in transition. We are concerned with a triad of interrelated drivers of change: ecological upheaval, political shifts, and epistemic transformation. Our point of departure is the belief that the present is characterized by massive movements in each of these areas, which, we suggest, are best understood and addressed if we consider their dynamic synergy. Against this background, we focus on current possibilities and forms of environmentalism. Along with a number of recent academic and activist contributions on this topic, we call for a renewed focus on environmental justice and the study of climate and political change as simultaneous and mutually influencing developments. In addressing the epistemological foundations of our production of knowledge about the environment, the question of whose knowledge counts and whose voice is heard is critical as is the deconstruction of the policy rationales for, and consequences of, (technological) solutions to problems that are viewed as (exclusively) ecological.
In light of this, we also aim to rethink our methods (as academics), in terms of both intra-scientific dialogue aimed at more-than-human solutions, and engagement beyond our own scholarly horizons. We invite contributions from academics, artists, and activists/activist-cum-scholars, to stimulate a polyvocal dialogue on South Asian ecologies in transition, with the goal of (re)igniting a much-needed debate on environmental justice and solidarity relations by engaging those most affected by these transitions and those researching them. Comparing the situation in South Asia with other regions is welcome.