DSA Ecosocialist Working Group: Abolition Landscapes
discussion of building power for multi-species justice
The Ecosocialist Working Group of DSA Santa Cruz organizes to fight capitalism and build local power for climate, environmental and multi-species justice. They work to spread an understanding that capitalism and imperialism must be fought against to promote the health of our planet and all of its people through public information campaigns, agitprop, literature, and mutual aid.
The DSA Ecosocialists will be represented at this event by T.J. Demos and Joy Schendledecker.
DSA Santa Cruz Ecosocialist Working Group analyzes and organizes in support of environmental and climate justice, guided by the radical Green New Deal and the decolonial Red Deal. One trajectory of our practice is abolition ecology, as according to Ruth Wilson Gilmore: abolition must be green to take seriously environmental harm, racism, and degradation; and it must be red in generalizing resources needed for the most vulnerable. In our multimedia and participatory work under this critical rubric, the landscape figures as edge—a site of political and ecological dissensus, one between public and private natures—in our struggle of ecosocialism against racial colonial capitalism. In Santa Cruz, we are provoked by the real-estate state, where land, including the municipal garden, is commodified and policed, transforming the biotic realm into defensive architecture, cleared for surveillance sightlines, and weaponized to prevent passage. This includes Jesse Street Marsh, a rare saltwater marsh instrumentalized by city-enforced class division separating neighborhoods, and the San Lorenzo River, including the area around the Tannery, shaped by histories of extraction and gentrification, both prevented from flourishing by clearing plants to facilitate anti-houselessness surveillance, and weaponizing environmental concern against homeless “invaders.” Our creative interventions—pedagogical, militant, community-based—direct collective energy toward abolishing policed natures and composting the cops, in policy and through the rhetoric of agit-propagation (guerilla gardening and media ecology). For this presentation, we will discuss a number of our projects in relation to abolition landscapes.
Landscape & Life: Speaker Series
As part of Indexical’s year-long exhibition series, curator Gabriel Saloman Mindel has invited artists, scholars and activists to share their work in a series of free public presentations. Each of these speakers engages with our contemporary landscape in ways that reveal the life-forms and life-ways that give shape to them, and are shaped by them. These talks will expand upon the exhibitions by Suzy Poling and Paige Emery (Oct/Nov), Raven Chacon (Feb/Mar) and Paul Walde (April/May) and dig deeper into the entanglements of landscape and life.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.