19 episodes

Resource extraction impacts our daily lives and has helped push the climate to the brink, but there are people around the world living and fighting for alternative ways forward. Join hosts Christopher Chagnon and Sophia Hagolani-Albov and their guests on the last Friday of each month for a discussion of the impacts of extractivisms, alternative ways forward, and stories from people living the struggle every day. If you are someone interested in how our environment and societies have come to their current state or learning about different ways we can move forward, this is the podcast for you.

EXALT Podcast EXALT Initiative

    • Documentary
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Resource extraction impacts our daily lives and has helped push the climate to the brink, but there are people around the world living and fighting for alternative ways forward. Join hosts Christopher Chagnon and Sophia Hagolani-Albov and their guests on the last Friday of each month for a discussion of the impacts of extractivisms, alternative ways forward, and stories from people living the struggle every day. If you are someone interested in how our environment and societies have come to their current state or learning about different ways we can move forward, this is the podcast for you.

    BONUS Year 1 Retrospective (and Outtakes)

    BONUS Year 1 Retrospective (and Outtakes)

    October 2020 is the FIRST ANNIVERSARY of the EXALT Podcast! So, we decided to commemorate it with a quick bonus episode. We sit down and look back on how we got here, the great guests we've had, what's coming ahead for year/season two, and a few outtakes from our first year.


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    • 15 min
    Markus Kröger - What is the best way to push for change?

    Markus Kröger - What is the best way to push for change?

    This month we talk to Markus Kröger, Associate Professor in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, an Academy of Finland research fellow, and one of the founding members of the EXALT Initiative. His work looks at political/economic analysis to explain the where we are in the development of systems, and where we are going. He has focused on industrial forestry, and the conflicts related to the expansions of these plantations. He has done work in many countries including Brazil, India, and the Arctic. His more recent work has focused on resistance to iron ore mining in Brazil and India. This work is shared in Iron Will: Global Extractivism and Mining Resistance in Brazil and India, Markus’ forthcoming book from University of Michigan Press. In this book he compares the dynamics across cases where the mining expanded, where it discontinued, cases of armed resistance and cases of peaceful resistance. He looked at the causal condition complexes that explain the causal path from the start of activism to the different investment outcomes. He identified 5 key strategies and explored the strategies that did not work so well in resistance movements. Markus shares with us some of his stories from being on the ground as a participant observer on the front lines of mining resistance.

    Links:

    Markus’ forthcoming book Iron Will: Global Extractivism and Mining Resistance in Brazil and India

    Markus’ earlier book Contentious Agency and Natural Resource Politics

    Markus’ profile page at University of Helsinki, including a listing of his academic articles.


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    • 35 min
    Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias - How much of your life has Big Data colonized and extracted to the cloud?

    Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias - How much of your life has Big Data colonized and extracted to the cloud?

    This month we talk with Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias. Nick is a professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory in the Department of Media and Communications at London School of Economics. Ulises is a professor of Communication Studies and the director of the Institute for Global Engagement at SUNY Oswego. They recently co-authored a book called ‘The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Capitalism.’ This book explores the role that data and data production plays in the modern world and the concept of data colonialism. Data colonialism is a form of appropriation of human life set up so data can be continuously extracted profit that benefits companies operating in the capitalist system. They are not using the word colonialism metaphorically – this is an emergent order based on the same extractivist logic that has enabled the colonial project over the last 500 years. We discuss how data colonialism operates on multiple levels and has effects further reaching than most imagine. We discuss how we (humans) are simultaneously producing the data through our actions (e.g. swiping our smartphone, cruising social media, or even in some cases through opening our fridge) and falling victim to the consequences of big business owning our data en masse.

    Here is more information about their book: https://colonizedbydata.com

    Tweet at Nick: @couldrynick

    Projects:

    Here is the home page for the Tierra Común network (jointly founded with Paola Ricaurte): https://www.tierracomun.net

    The wiki page for the Non-Aligned Technologies Movement: https://nonalignedtech.net

    Other:

    Sorry We Missed You - film directed by Ken Loach: https://sorrywemissedyou.co.uk/

    EXALT Symposium October 2020:

    https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/exalt-2020/exalt-symposium-2020 


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    • 50 min
    Anja Nygren - How Does Extractivism Impact Frontier Families Over Generations?

    Anja Nygren - How Does Extractivism Impact Frontier Families Over Generations?

    This month we are joined by Anja Nygren a professor in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki. She is also a docent of political ecology at University of Tampere in Finland. She has done intensive empirical frontline research in many countries, including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico. We discuss her first hand experiences seeing the ravages of extractivism on the lives of average people and the environment over her experience living and working in Central America.

    Anja’s interests lie in social/environmental justice, access to resources, and environmental conflict. She pairs macro scale data, for example satellite data tracking land change, with ethnographic inquiry that captures the lived experience and the impact on livelihoods. Her work intersects with extractivism through oil and the long-term effects of extractive activities on the land and the extraction and resource grabbing which happens at frontiers. She is very interested in the different dimensions of extractivism, especially looking at some of broader definitions of extractivism for example the effects of agroextractivism, green-grabbing, and even the mental or intellectual extractivism that happens in eco-tourism and the pharmacological industry. The role of profit-making is a defining feature of these extractivisms at frontiers. Anja shares with us the different types of frontiers and the different ways extractivism can play out at these frontiers, including commodity, commoditizing, and resource frontiers. 

    If you are interested in this subject and would like to learn more, Anja welcomes you to contact her. She is happy to send people her publications, recommendations for other reading, and help in connecting to broader networks. 

    Please visit Anja’s research profile at University of Helsinki, there are links to over 80 publications (the majority of which are open access!) https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/anja-nygren



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    • 45 min
    Gutu Olana Wayessa - Why do people need to be consulted about big projects in their back yards?

    Gutu Olana Wayessa - Why do people need to be consulted about big projects in their back yards?

    This month we had a conversation with Gutu Olana Wayessa a University Lecturer in Development Studies at University of Helsinki. He is a member of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ). His scholarly work has looked at resettlement and displacement, and livelihood implications of government sponsored movement from place to place. More recently he has been interested in social movements and scholarly activism.

    His recent research examines large-scale land leasing in Oromo Region, Ethiopia. Land has been one of the few questions that has shaped the political economy of the country for the last fifty years. In Ethiopia the land belongs to the state and the people, but in practice the people using the land can be nominal in the face of large-scale land leasing. The lands are often characterized as “under-utilized” on paper, but often they are in alternative or customary uses. These are usually long-term, large scale, international companies that are participating in these land deals, and the people using the land are not able to effectively assert their rights to the land. Often these foreign investors are trying to develop industrial agricultural projects on the land that are ill-suited to the land and the land ends up degraded and unusable for the alternative and customary use. Gutu walks us through the case studies from one of his recent articles, which are a living example of the impacts and effects of agricultural extractivism happening on these leased lands.   

    Shortly after the recording of this conversation, Oromo activist and pop singer Hachalu Hundessa, whose songs were anthems of anti-government protests, was assassinated. This sparked off waves of protests in which at least 166 people have been killed. It is angering and upsetting to learn that such an important figure to Ethiopian and Oromo culture and politics was killed, and of the ongoing violence by the state against the people protesting this injustice.  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53238206

    If you would like to learn more about these topics, Gutu invites anyone who is interested to send him an e-mail (gutuolana (at) gmail .com) or through his University of Helsinki e-mail (firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi). Please find his profile through the University of Helsinki portal https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/gutu-wayessa


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    • 52 min
    Will LaFleur - What kind of connection do you have with your food?

    Will LaFleur - What kind of connection do you have with your food?

    This episode we are joined by Will LaFleur, a doctoral researcher at University of Helsinki in the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change. Will is also a student affiliate of the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and a member of the Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT). This episode builds on our May episode on Food Systems with Rachel Mazac (if you have not heard that episode, please click here to check it out!) Will leads us through a food centered conversation and helps us learn about sense-making and its relation to food. In particular we talk about a lot about taste and its relation to the experience of food. Will shares with us his experiences in Arizona, Japan, and now Finland. He shares with us his personal experiences with food and the senses and his post-positivist views on approaching research. We discuss the difference between food as fuel and food as social experience that occupies a special time and position in ones’ life. Will shared with us some insight into the everyday practices that bring one away from the industrial practices of the dominant food system.

    Find him on Twitter @scent_ala_fleur

    Resources shared by Will:


    Commensality, society and culture by Claude Fischler https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0539018411413963 (check Google Scholar for PDF version)

    Book recommendation: Food and culture: A reader, specifically recommending the chapter by Jack Goody, Industrial Food Towards the Development of a World Cuisine.

    Another book recommendation: Katz, S.E., 2016. Wild fermentation: The flavor, nutrition, and craft of live-culture foods. Chelsea Green Publishing.

    Burning Questions Conference: https://www.burningq.com/

    REKO Finland short introduction (video)



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    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Chagnasty ,

Great look at the diverse varieties of extractivisms happening around the world

Definitely the premiere podcast focusing on varieties of extractivism and alternative ways forward!

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