Milpa Melipona Memory: Mayan Revival on the Yucatán Peninsula
In 2011, European Union authorities rejected a shipment of honey from Mayan beekeepers in the Yucatan Peninsula. The culprit? Elevated levels of transgenic substances in the bee pollen. Suddenly out of an income, many Mayan beekeepers rose up against the plantations of genetically modified crops in the region that had been contaminating their honey.
Omanka Versus Oil
In 2010, the Ecuadorian government decided to open a new area of the Amazon rainforest for petroleum extraction. This land, inhabited by seven indigenous nations, including previously uncontacted tribes, was divided into 21 bloques with a total surface area of 3.6 million of hectares. In 2012, 13 of these bloques were auctioned off to international petroleum companies, and those remaining were reserved for Petroamazonas, the Ecuadorean state oil extractor.
All That Matters: Alternative Economies in the Iberian Peninsula
Spain was one of the European countries where the 2008 crisis was felt most dramatically, with unemployment sitting stubbornly at 49% among those under 25 in 2015. Reacting to the crisis, 200 alternative economic networks emerged, and 80 social currencies were created to foster the local exchange of goods and services.
Everything that happens around us is mediated not only by humans and their institutions, but also by viruses, ecosystems, and things: “earth beings,” such as mountains (de la Cadena), and technological artifacts. We need to relearn new ways of thinking from the peoples who have retained and rebuilt their relationships with the nonhuman realm. These relationships come with diverse forms of mutual “understanding” and constitute the dynamics of each place.
Adam Naming the Animals, Unknown, about 1250–1260 (Getty Museum)
Environmental cultural studies (ECS) searches for a multidimensional understanding of pressing issues that affect human communities, material environments, and the larger biotic communities on which the reproduction of human life has always depended. ECS views “culture” and “nature” not as separate entities but as entangled and hybrid realms.
Inter/Transdisciplinary Work. Science and Technology Studies/Humanomics
With toxicologist, Angel Polanco
Water Toxicity and Activism in Yucatan, Mexico; Toxic Bodies: Water and Women in Yucatán; The War Between Amaranth and Soy: Interspecies Resistance to Transgenic Soy Agriculture in Argentina, and more.