Funding agroecology: huge potential remains untapped

The need for radical transformation of food and agriculture systems has been thoroughly documented, widely accepted and embraced rhetorically by organisations at all scales, but its potential remains untapped: the political will to actually funding agroecology is missing. In March 2018, together with Michel Pimbert, I wrote: “…Our recently published research shows that very little overseas aid is directed at agroecological research and development. Since January 1 2010, no funds at all have … …

Yachaks, knowledge, ayahuasca and protection

This is a brief extract from my thesis (more on that here), featuring an interview with a Kichwa shaman about yachaks, knowledge, ayahuasca and protection. 5.3.1 Wizards and Fighter Jets. “How do you protect your knowledge?” I asked a middle-aged yachak [‘one who knows’, plural yachakuna], a traditional Kichwa healer, wizard and community adviser, as we were preparing a large amount of ayahuasca brew, the hallucinogenic drink ‘that makes you see’, and ultimately, … …

‘Living in Napo’: a brief political economy of extraction and colonisation in the Ecuadorian Amazon

This is a presentation of Chapter 3, ‘Living in Napo’, of my PhD thesis (The Protection of Traditional Knowledge in the Ecuadorian Amazon: A Critical Ethnography of Capital Expansion, 2010), which is a brief political economy of extraction and colonisation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It contextualises my fieldwork (2005-2008) in the Napo region, as well as the key focus of my research in that period, a participatory bioprospecting project. “Antes los gringos decían … …

Indigenous Amazonian responses to COVID-19

I recently submitted an application for a small amount of money for a project with a potentially large impact. Having worked with Kichwa communities, federations and individual yachaks (shamans) in the Upper Napo since 2005 and partcipated in their struggles for protection, restoration and revalorisation of traditional knowledge and medicinal practices, the current resurgence of interest in the ways of old and the healing powers of the forest is exciting. Even if it … …

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:subsistence matters:

My collection of materials and findings from on-going research on the foundation of human existence: food, care, land; specifically for the purposes of enriching the human habitat and the complex web of life which sustains our livelihoods. From the field, the kitchen and philosophy, anthropology, geography, politics, sociology, agroecology, law, permaculture, animism and magic. In search of diversity, autonomy, community, flourishing, into a more-than-sustainable future, inspired by the other side of the anthropocene. … …

Kichwa community leader on pandemic

This is a low resolution video, recorded and sent by phone from the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, by Patricio Andi, who is a community leader. It does not have very good audio, but that should not detract from the otherwise clear and important message. It is provided for general interest and as part of a collection of reference material for an article in The Conversation titled ‘How indigenous people in … …

Kichwa midwife on corona pandemic

Below you find four low resolution videos – recorded on and sent by phone – in which Ofelia Salazar, Presidenta of AMUPAKIN, talks about the pandemic from her perspective, living in a road-accessible community of the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. She speaks in Spanish. In time we will create subtitles for these videos and also provide transcripts. It is provided for general interest and as part of a collection of … …

Pandemic in the Amazon

This is an expanded version of an article I co-wrote with John Martin Pedersen, which appeared in The Conversation ‘How indigenous people in the Amazon are coping with the coronavirus pandemic‘. This expanded version includes several paragraphs that did not meet editorial approval. We also collect additional reference material here, especially statements and messages directly from the Amazon (particularly Ecuador and Peru) which were shared with us specifically for this purpose. This is … …