‘Grass in the cracks’: Gender, social reproduction and climate justice in the Xolobeni struggle.

Monday, 16 May, 2022 - 16:00

Presented by : 
Beth Goldblatt &
Shireen Hassim

This chapter examines the opposition by members of the Xolobeni community to proposed mining on their communally-occupied land, including through litigation. While only one strategy amongst many, the use of law is notable and has thus far been effective in challenging the mining company and the government. The Xolobeni struggle points to important links between efforts to overcome gendered structures of production and reproduction and environmental destruction that offers insights for feminist struggles for climate justice. We draw on Silvia Federici’s gendered framing of the commons to tease out the key tensions in the long drawn-out opposition to mining in Xolobeni: the involvement of women as the main producers of food and custodians of the land, their movement to the centre of the struggle in the context of violence against activists, and their assertion of new forms of temporality that engage the responsibilities of the present generation to the future.

Paper: 

PDF icon GoldblattHassim2022.pdf

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