Contemplative Ecologies 1

This is the first blog post in a new series by Zack Walsh. Each Friday, I highlight the top 5 posts curated from my personal Facebook page. I hope you enjoy this week’s highlights:

1. There are several new pieces related to my #ContemplativeCommons project. Peter Doran published a new article, Towards a Mindful Cultural Commons. Uneven Earth published a cli-fi about the psycho-social affects of enclosures. My favorite quote: “The fences were strongest in the mind.” For those unfamiliar with the commons, I’d recommend David Bollier’s accessible introduction, Think Like a Commoner; and for a more contemplative perspective, check out Ugo Mattei’s First Thoughts for a Phenomenology of the Commons.

2. Next, I discovered BKDN BKDN (Breakdown Break Down), a group exploring how to “de-industrialize their sense of self and produce the civil society that will help communities to endure ecological collapse.” Their Deep Listening and Deep Mapping exercises provide excellent resources for contemplative ecological practice. You can access their open-source publications here. My favorite: Their mapping of petro-subjectivity and the aural ecologies of BKDN WKBK #3: Sonic Meditations: Immersive Ecological Entanglement.

3. Nature: Sustainability published A good life for all within planetary boundaries which finds that “no country meets basic needs for its citizens at a globally sustainable level” and that the pursuit of the SDGs is environmentally unsustainable within a growth-oriented economy. Last week, Federico Demaria likewise argued degrowth is imperative given historical data: “…the issue is not whether we shall abandon economic growth. The question is how…. Imagining a world without growth is among the most vital and urgent tasks for society to engage in.” In the latest issue of Ecological Economics, Joshua Farley also published a response toward Pirgmaier’s critique of steady-state economics.

4. Annihiliation, directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), opened in theatres last week. It was the best #SciFi I’ve seen since The Arrival. Then again, I’m biased. Stalker is one of my favorite films; and this is #EcoCinema updated for the age of #postnaturalism and #posthumanism. The best news: Netflix will stream it March 12! Here are two reviews (here and here) commenting on the films affective ecology and its affinity with the New Weird.

5. Nature published a new article providing suggestive evidence that the origin of life could be an inherently social phenomenon, thanks to horizontal gene transfer. For those unfamiliar with multispecies studies and its intersections with contemplative inquiry, I recommend this introduction to the field. I also highly recommend Donna Haraway’s article on making kin which informs my own work on #makingrefuge (here and here). This week, I read about alien ecologies, queer ecologies, sustainability and disability, and extremophiles— microorganisms which thrive in extreme environments. I also enjoyed this article on synthetic sensing in urban ecologies.

Questions, comments, or recommendations for future content? Please email <>. Like what you see? Check out my scholarly publications. See you next Friday!

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