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Colonial dynamics in global climate politics | Decolonial Learning Session #23

This session dives into a decolonizing perspective on the role of carbon offsets in global climate politics. The two hour session consist of two parts. First, an interactive workshop will be moderated by Dr. Tamra Gilbertson and Thomas Joseph.Here, the audience will take part in facilitated group activity working to define key concepts in structural colonial oppression. The second half of the session is a lecture where Tamra and Thomas will speak on forest carbon offsets, ‘net-zero’ targets and carbon markets in climate global politics, explain what they are, their role in global climate policy, their shortfalls, problematic consequences, colonial ties and more, by the means of the previously defined key concepts. Lastly, they will speak about the critical resistance of carbon pricing in the Indigenous Climate movements and dive deeper into social and climate justice policies.

For the audio recording, click here.

About the speaker: Dr. Tamra Gilbertson is an activist-scholar, researcher and writer. She is an Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) Project Coordinator of the Climate Justice program. She was a founder and director of Carbon Trade Watch, and Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Project of the Transnational Institute (TNI). She has researched climate and environmental justice concerns for almost two decades, specifically the political economy of carbon trading and pricing. She is the author of Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance (2017), among many other articles, book chapters and publications. She has training in photography, film-making and journalism and is currently a Lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Department of Sociology and The New School, Department of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. Thomas Joseph (Hoopa Valley Tribe) is a carbon-policy educator at the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). Thomas will function as a representative for the IEN, which is a grassroots network of Indigenous leaders and communities across Turtle Island fighting for Environmental Justice and the Rights of Mother Earth.

Further Resources

  1. Carbon Pricing, V1: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance, 2017
  2. Carbon Pricing, V2: A Popular Education Toolkit for Community Resistance, 2019
  3. Climate Finance, IEN, November 2022.
  4. Climate-Smart Agriculture, IEN, November 2022.
  5. Nature-Based Solutions, IEN, November 2022. 
  6. Hoodwinked in the Hothouse: Resist False Solutions to Climate Change. April 2021.
  7. 15 Years of REDD+: A Mechanism Rotten at the Core. WRM. 2022. 
  8. Carbon Pricing: A Popular Education Toolkit for Community Resistance. IEN and CJA, Volume 2. 2019.
  9. Carbon Pricing: A critical perspective for community resistance. Volume 1. IEN and CJA. 2017. 
  10. Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon report. IEN and OCI. 2021.
  11. Distraction from Climate Action video ESP & ENG. 2021.
  12. The Big Con: How Big Polluters are advancing a “net zero” climate agenda to delay, deceive, and deny
  13. Corporate greenwashing: “net zero” and “nature-based solutions” are a deadly fraud: GRAIN. April 2021 
  14. Geoengineering and Carbon Capture and Storage information
  15. REDD+  information
  16. Book recommendation: Climate Justice and Community Renewal

Selected Published Resources from Dr. Gilbertson

Gilbertson, Tamra. 2021. The financialization of nature and climate change policy: implications for mining-impacted Afro-Colombian communities. Community Development Journal, Volume 56, Issue 1, Pages 21–38.

Gilbertson, Tamra. 2021. La financierización de la naturaleza y las políticas sobre el cambio climático: Implicaciones Para las comunidades afrocolombianas afectadas por la minería. Community Development Journal,

Gilbert, Jacqueline Elyse, Tamra L Gilbertson, and Line Jakobsen. 2021. Incommensurability and corporate social technologies: a critique of corporate compensations in Colombia’s coal mining region of La Guajira. Journal of Political Ecology 28, no. 1, pg. 434-452. DOI:

Gilbert, Jacqueline Elyse, Tamra L Gilbertson, and Line Jakobsen. 2021. Inconmensurabilidad y tecnología social corporativa: una crítica a las compensaciones corporativas de la minería del carbón en la región de La Guajira. Journal of Political Ecology 28, no. 1. DOI:

Gilbertson, Tamra. 2020. Compensating for Development at the In-between and Edges of Extractive Capitalism: Socionature and Cultural Erasure in the Northeast Caribbean Colombian Coal Mining Region. Dissertation, University of Tennessee Department of Sociology. 

Tokar, Brian and Tamra Gilbertson (eds). 2020. Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions. London and New York: Routledge.

Cabello, Joanna and Tamra Gilbertson. 2012. A colonial mechanism to enclose lands: A critical review of two REDD+-focused special issues. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, 12 (2): 162-180.

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Human rights in Iran: past, present and future | Decolonial Learning Session #22

What’s happening in Iran? In this Decolonial Learning Session Setareh Sadeqi, an Iranian based activist, offers insights from inside Iran. With a critical perspective on both Western narratives and Iranian policies, Setareh will reflect on the current protests in Iran. From the impact of the Iranian revolution of 1979 on today’s Iranian society and it’s relationship with the West to the position of women and their struggle for equality.

For the audio recording, click here.

About the Speaker:

Setareh Sadeqi is Iranian based activist who lives in the city of Esfahan. She’s a Ph.D. and an independent researcher. She works as translator and a teacher. Setareh studied the US Civil Rights Movement and propaganda analysis as part of her Ph.D.

Listen and Reading tips:

Podcast Twice Told Tales

National Report on Women`s Status in the Islamic Republic of Iran 

Iranian Public Opinion under ‘Maximum Pressure’ 

Iran Protests: What’s Happening and What Comes Next, w/ Prof. Mohammad Marandi

Iranian women before and after the revolution – elements of development and progress

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What is decolonisation in the 21st century | Decolonial Learning Session #21

After the second world war many countries gained their formal independence from their colonizers. However, we still see a reproduction of neo-colonial outcomes and practices that are reproduced within countries, nation states and the borders that were created under colonialism. This can be observed in legal, social, cultural, economic and military infrastructures, to name a few dimensions. Structures that are still heavily influenced by the European colonial powers both historically and in present time. The question then becomes; what does decolonization entail in the 21st century when we can see that ‘coloniality’ is still being reproduced? And what is the difference between anti-colonial and decolonial struggles? And in what way can we repair the colonial harm done? We will look at these questions from an (south) African perspective to analyze how eurocentrism is reproduced and ways in which we can decolonize and re-think these power structures.  

For the audio recording, click here.

About the Speaker:

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni is Professor and Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis on Africa. He is a leading decolonial theorist with over a hundred publications in the fields of African history, African politics, African development and decolonial theory. His latest major publications are Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization (Routledge, July 2018); Rethinking and Unthinking Development: Perspectives on Inequality and Poverty in South Africa and Zimbabwe (Berghahn Books, March 2019) coedited with Busani Mpofu; and Decolonization, Development and Knowledge in Africa: Turning Over A New Leaf (Routledge, May 2020).

Additional References:

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Battle of Ideas Visualizing National Liberation Marxism | Decolonial Learning Session #20

A conversation – centered around images – about the entangled tradition of Marxism and national liberation – a tradition that emerges out of the October Revolution and that deepens its roots in the anti-colonial conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This is an introduction to a wide-ranging conversation that includes many different revolutionary movements, mostly rooted in the continents of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and highlighting the importance of creating a new cultural project for liberation.

Revolutionary artist Tings Chak, along with Ingrid Neves and Daniela Ruggeri of the Art Department of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, have drawn over a hundred portraits of revolutionaries from around the world. During this learning session, we will go over some of these portraits, key national liberation Marxists in the Global South – José Carlos Mariátegui, Mao Zedong, Amílcar Cabral, Haydee Santamaria, Ho Chi Minh and EMS Namboodiripad – and reflect on the power of culture to advance the struggle for liberation.

For the audio recording, click here.

About the speaker:

Tings Chak 翟庭君 is an artist and writer based in Beijing. She is Art Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, which strives for Global South Unity in the anti-colonial tradition of Bandung and the Tricontinental Conference. Tings is a member of the art and culture working group of the International People’s Assembly. She is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel, Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention (The Architecture Observer 2014; Ad Astra Comix 2017) based on her work as a migrant justice organizer in Toronto. Her research work focuses on the culture of national liberation and socialist struggles, and the horizons that this history gives for the movements of today.

Additional References:

– The PAIGC’s Political Education for Liberation in Guinea-Bissau, 1963–74

– Dawn: Marxism and National Liberation

– Go to Yan’an: Culture and National Liberation

– Ten Theses on Marxism and Decolonisation

Film “79 Primaveras”

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Collapse and the Nation State: A Mapuche Perspective on the Case of Chile | Decolonial Learning Session #19

Within the context of the global ecological crisis, non-western narratives, under the discourse of decolonization, have emerged as innovative and inspirational perspectives when thinking about current global issues. However, those narratives carry the risk to be subalternalized, extractivized and culturally appropriated by hegemonic epistemology. Those issues strengthened and might even reproduce the logic of crises. Meanwhile, arguing change, transformation and action.

In this lecture, Milton is inviting you to think about some questions as:

  • What and even how does the future look like under the rationality of ecological collapse?
  • How can we adopt the energy of collapse in order to promote change?
  • How do our own emotions and beliefs system resist change?

For the audio recording, click here.

Bio Milton Almonacid

Milton Almonacid is Professor of History and Geography at the Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile. He has more than 12 years of international experience in matters related to cultural, intercultural and global studies in areas such as science and technology studies, philosophy of sciences, sociology and history of knowledge production. His fields of interest are Epistemology of Sciences, Decolonization of Knowledge, Whiteness Studies, Indigenous Epistemologies, Non-Western Global Narratives and Intercultural Translation, amongst others. Milton holds a Master’s degree in Political Science (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes), Philosophy (Université Paris I, Panthéon Sorbonne) and Psychoanalysis (Université Paris VII, Denis Diderot) focused on the study of social movements in Chile, the construction of the legitimacy of scientific thought, as well as Mapuche contents excluded from the social identity of Chilean society.

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How imperialism drives the climate catastrophe | Decolonial Learning Session #14

Towards a people’s green new deal

Nearly a billion people have no access whatsoever to electricity, whilst the rich are embarking on space trips and fantasize about colonizing mars. Yet the climate crisis is not just marked by economic inequality. It is marked by imperialism. 92 percent of the climate catastrophe engulfing the planet is caused by Global North, robbing formerly colonized countries of the atmospheric space required to ensure humane living standards. To make matters worse, every year immense amounts of resources and labor-power are drained from the Global South to the Global North, to maintain a wasteful consumption lifestyle that is killing the planet.

This fossil-based capitalism is backed by a massive imperial army of NATO, a bloc of rich countries spending more on the military than the rest of the world combined. A bloc that is invading nations, overthrowing governments and brutally sanctioning entire peoples that refuse to bow down. Proposals for a Green New Deal that do not tackle imperialism are bound to fail, exacerbating a system that is marked by climate apartheid. Max Ajl will be joining us to unpack the various Green New Deal proposals that are out there, and help us find out what an anti-imperialist climate strategy could look like.

For the audio recording, click here.

Bio: Max Ajl

Max Ajl is the author of the critically acclaimed book A People’s Green New Deal, which scrutinizes the most famous green new deal proposals and offers an eco-socialist and anti-imperialist alternative. Max is an associated researcher with the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, an associate editor at Agrarian South & Journal of Labor and Society, and a postdoctoral fellow with the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University. He is currently working on a book about the role of peasants in the underknown Tunisian revolution of 1942-1956. Throughout his work, Max focusses on national liberation, peasant struggles and anti-imperialism.

Additional reading:

> A People’s Green New Deal, by Max Ajl, 2021. Click here.

> People’s Agreement of Cochabamba at World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, April 22nd, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Click here.

> The Age of Imperialism is Not Over—But We Can End It, Click here. 

> “Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary” by Jason Hickle in The Lancet Planetary Health, 2020. Click here. 

> Red Vegans Against Green Peasants, New Socialist, Click here. 

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Co-existence of traditional medicine next to conventional medicine in the post-colonial Caribbean | Decolonial Learning Session #13

How does traditional medicine co-exist next to conventional medicine in the post-colonial Dutch Caribbean?

During this Decolonial Learning Session Durwin Lynch will touch upon inter-and transgenerational traumas of Dutch Caribbean (sub)communities in relation to colonialism, racism and oppression. In his view embracing traditional healing practices, that have in general been kept ‘invisible’ throughout history, might support healing processes of inter and transgenerational trauma. He will focus his talk on exploring the deeper rooted tensions that both support and hinder the coexistence of traditional and conventional Western medicine/healing in the Dutch Caribbean. What are the historical roots of these tensions? To what extent is a potential bridge between traditional and conventional Western medicine/healing desirable and possible?

For the audio recording, click here.

Bio Durwin Lynch:

Durwin Lynch originates from the Dutch Caribbean (born in Surinam, raised on Curacao) and has a strong interest in addressing inter-and transgenerational trauma healing of Dutch Caribbean (sub) communities. He works as a PhD Researcher on the topic of ‘Public Engagement in Science’ at the Athena Institute Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and is the Program Coordinator of the Master Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences.

Additional reading:

> Advances and Challenges in Safeguarding Traditional Medicine in Curaçao,  in Traditional Medicine: Sharing Experiences from the Field, by R. Ansano, 2019. Click here.

> Hende a Hasi Malu Pé: Popular Psychiatric beliefs in Curacaoan Culture, by R. M. Allen, 2005. Click here.

> Traditional healing practices originating in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao: A review of the literature on psychiatry and Brua, in Transcultural psychiatry, 52(6), 2015. J Blom et al. Click here.

> Interview with Kevin Osepa – The Curaçao Artist Exploring Afro-Caribbean Spiritual Culture. Click here.

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Dutch colonialism in the 21st Century Caribbean | Decolonial Learning Session #12

Colonial politics and practices of the Netherlands on Bonaire and other Caribbean islands.

In this learning session, Kjelld Kroon will share with us how Bonaire experiences colonial politics from the European Netherlands in the 21st century. Leading to the questions: How can it be that the Netherlands that speaks so much of human rights and equality is violating these principles so systematically in the so called ‘Dutch Caribbean’? How can colonialism have ended when there are ‘oversea territories’ and can there be such a thing as ‘fair’ dependency?

For the audio recording, click here.

Bio Kjelld Kroon:

Kjelld Kroon comes from Rincon/Bonaire and studies in Leiden. He is an activist for Bonaire’s political rights and did an internship at Human Rights Bonaire in 2021. As a philosophy student; Global and comparative perspectives (Leiden) he specializes in decolonial and political philosophy.

Further reading material:

> The Dutch Caribbean Municipalities in Comparative Perspective by Wouter Veenendaal, In Island Studies Journal, Vol. 10 No.1, 2015. Click here.

> Bonaire’s Green Paper: Re-listing Bonaire on the United Nations’ List of Non-Self-Governing Territories, Foundation Nos Kier Boneiru Bek, Bonaire, 2017. Click here.

> Decolonising the Caribbean Dutch Policies in a Comparative Perspective by Inge Klinkers & Gert Oostindie. Click here.
> Political decolonization and self-determination : the case of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba . Click here.
> “Zo wordt ongelijkheid tussen Europees en Caribisch Nederland al jaren in stand gehouden” Click here