weird flower

“The world has become weird”: crisis, natures and radical re-enchantment

In this essay, Amber Huff and Nathan Oxley reflect on questions that have emerged through Natures, the STEPS Centre’s theme throughout 2020. Dear Reader, I hope that this essay finds you well in these turbulent times. When we last reached out in this format nearly one year ago, at the beginning of 2020, it was…

comic illustration

The Killing Famine: an outsider’s view of conservation and colonialism

The Killing Famine is an original comic by the artist Tim Zocco, who has been working with the STEPS Centre throughout 2020. In this piece, Tim Zocco reflects on a strange encounter with mining and conservation in Madagascar, leading to a glimpse into a horrifying chapter in the country’s colonial history. The most successful liars…

Weird ecologies

In this short post, Amber Huff (STEPS/IDS) and Adrian Nel (University of KwaZulu Natal) introduce the idea of ‘weird ecologies’ and explains why ‘the Weird’ has such an enduring appeal in culture and philosophy. The piece is followed by an original comic by Tim Zocco for the STEPS Natures year, a weird expedition into the…

The ‘weight’ of humanity: questions on Attenborough’s ‘A Life On Our Planet’

Two images stand out in David Attenborough’s new film A Life On Our Planet. The first is of the “blue marble”, the Earth, viewed from a spacecraft for the first time in the early 1950s. Seen from space, the Earth appears as a small disc, finite, lonely in the black void. The second image comes…

Contested Natures

‘Contested Natures’ conference programme now published

The conference programme is now published for ‘Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration‘, the third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN). The conference takes place on 22-25 September 2020, and is the largest event of the STEPS Centre’s ‘Natures’ year. It is held online on a virtual platform: registration is required to attend. You…

New online exhibition: ‘Extracting Us’

The online exhibition ‘Extracting Us’ brings together different visions and responses to extractivism from feminist perspectives. The curators are keen to emphasise different ways of seeing, linking to further information and solidarity, and challenge conventional narratives and forms of representation. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of online conversations – details are on the…

Thriving in an ever-changing world: from technocratic control to emancipatory care?

This is the fourth and last in a series of blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read part 1 / part 2 / part 3 The first three in this quartet of blogposts explored whether…

control dials

Betraying the climate? Has environmentalism succumbed to a modernity it hitherto resisted?

This is the third in a series of four blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 4 In the first two of this quartet of blogposts, I asked…

Does the delusion of ‘climate control’ do more harm than good to climate disruption?

This is the second in a series of four blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read Part 1 / Part 3 / Part 4 In the first post of this series of four, I asked…

Is the naming of ‘climate change’ a dangerous self-defeat?

This is the first in a series of four blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read part 2 What’s in a name? Often, not a lot. Never a whole story. But sometimes (if looked for),…