Reading (2021)


Books


The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk (2014)

Finished 19 January 2021

trauma, PTSD, self-help, psychology, psychiatry, treatment, EMDR, therapy, movement, embodiment

This was a personal read after a long time of being recommended it. It was well worth the read and I only regret waiting as long as I did to read it. As informative about trauma as it is transformative, this book left me changed – more empathetic towards the flaws of others, and more accepting of my own.


Journal Articles


Devine, J.A., Baca, J.A., 2020. The Political Forest in the Era of Green Neoliberalism. Antipode 52, 911–927.

Finished 19 January 2021

forestry, neoliberalism, territory, governance, knowledge production, subject formation, political ecology

The authors summarise previous use of the term ‘political forest’ by Peluso and Vandergeest, and the related colonial moments they identified: “colonialism, post-colonial independence, and counter-insurgency struggles” (912). The term emerged in relation to colonialism in South-East Asia and seeks to denaturalise forests, “refiguring them as political-ecological entities, formed through a combination of colonial discourses, territorial governance strategies, and the rise of scientific forestry” (912). In this introductory paper to a Special Issue on political forests, the authors expand on a fourth colonial moment, which they label ‘green neoliberalism’. This moment is defined by the presence of non-state actors “like global conservation organisations, non-profit foundations, and celebrity philanthropists” and “new technologies like remote sensing and GIS” (921), and they indicate how this moment is unfurling in various locations across ‘the Global South’. It all stayed quite vague but reading the rest of the Issue would probably deliver me the ethnographic detail I was yearning for.

I found this article only somewhat interesting but luckily very readable and it introduced me to some handy concepts that might work well to open up my ways of thinking about forests and forest-like territories. My overarching curiosity is how and if this kind of approach would hold any water in the global North as it was very much developed in the global South, and I was disappointed by the lack of a discussion and indeed centring of Indigenous and local actors. I am always sceptical of these kinds of broad concepts with supposed universal relevance, and yet I found it a helpful introduction to thinking about ways of structuring a genealogy of a specific landscape or territory.