Posts Tagged ‘Abolition’

Community Solar as Energy Reparations: Abolishing Petro-Racial Capitalism in New Orleans

September 15, 2020 Comments off

Luke, N. and N. Heynen. (2020) “Community Solar as Energy Reparations: Abolishing Petro-Racial Capitalism in New Orleans.” American Quarterly. 72(3): 603-625.

Intro excerpt:

Community solar programs geared to low-income communities strive to address energy poverty or energy insecurity by working around the financial and infrastructural impediments for renters and other customers without adequate infrastructure or the upfront capital to finance a residential solar energy system.3 Customers can harness energy collected at a location other than their home by subscribing to a share of a community-owned solar array and receive credit on their bill for the power produced through their participation. Given the history of racial discrimination in home lending that is reflected in an unequal distribution of property ownership in New Orleans, and the US more widely,4 community solar is a concrete policy intervention with the potential to generate equity in access to renewable energy and reduce disparate energy poverty across racial groups in the transition to clean energy. Distributing access to renewable and affordable electricity through community solar challenges the fossil fuel infrastructures that contribute to energy poverty, housing insecurity, and climate vulnerability and confronts the power relations that sustain petro-racial capitalism in New Orleans. We focus on this policy as an alternative system of energy production and consumption that works to shift the extractive energy paradigm to a renewable and reparative energy system. Importantly, community solar is only a piece of climate justice mobilization in the Gulf Coast, where Indigenous and Black communities are organizing for energy equity and self-determination in the transition to clean energy.5

“A plantation can be a commons”: Re‐Earthing Sapelo Island through Abolition Ecology

May 25, 2020 Comments off

Heynen, N. (2020). “A plantation can be a commons”: Re‐Earthing Sapelo Island through Abolition Ecology. Antipode.

This paper is based on the 2018 Neil Smith Lecture presented at the University of St Andrews. It considers the plantation past/futures of Sapelo Island, Georgia, one of the Sea Islands forming an archipelago along the US Southeastern coast. I work through the abolitionist efforts of the Saltwater Geechee’s who have resided there since at least 1803 to better understand how we can mobilise an emancipatory politics of land and property and to produce commons that work to repair and heal the violence done through enslavement and ongoing displacement. I weave together a series of historical threads to better situate linked ideas of abolition democracy and abolition geography, and to extend the notion of abolition ecology as a strategic notion to connect Eurocentric based political ecologies with the emancipatory tradition of Black geographies.

What Harriet Tubman and John Brown can teach us about abolishing ‘White men’

January 8, 2020 Comments off

Heynen, N. (2020). What Harriet Tubman and John Brown can teach us about abolishing ‘White men’. Dialogues in Human Geography.

This commentary argues that one path toward Natalie Oswin’s ‘An Other Geography’ is through abolishing the institution of ‘White men’. Like other oppressive institutions, ‘White men’ have produced epistemic violence that has shaped and structured the discipline of geography in uneven and unjust ways. This essay is an effort to show appreciation and gratitude, and to stand in solidarity, with Oswin’s prophetic vision of ‘an other geography’. I mobilize the linked biographies of Harriet Tubman and John Brown as an entry point given how little we have yet worked to understand abolitionist history for thinking through the many ways we can work to transform geography.

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