ENVIRONMENTAL ONLINE ACTIVISM

Alix Budelmann

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3 thoughts on “ENVIRONMENTAL ONLINE ACTIVISM

  1. Joia de Jong says:

    Dear Alix,

    Great storytelling in the beginning. You immediately intrigue by asking questions and you give insight into what environmentalism is by giving very concrete examples people can relate to. I think the movie would be very understandable for a general public not specialised in this subject. So mission accomplished!

    I love how you criticise the environmentalist movement by adopting the orientalist lens, as has also been done to criticise the rather white, western feminist literature. Yet, what makes your piece stand out is that you link the practical consequences of this limited perspective through the case of Greenpeace in Brazil, in which the social-environmental perspective of the Brazilian activists clashes with the environmental (maximum effect) perspective of Greenpeace in general.

    Towards the ending you making the video extra intriguing, because it seems you become a bit Machiavellian; “the end justifies the means”. By highlighting the terrible consequences of climate change and the impact of our living conditions on the future of the planet, you seems to make the twist that we do have to continue our environmentalist path because otherwise we will not make it. Despite, the possible negative social consequences it will have in Brazil.

    What is less clear for me is how you perceive the CMC’s potential for environmentalism and how this in light of the case of Brazil matters. In the beginning, you do mention that CMC could make environmentalism more democratic, inclusive and global. Yet, how does this work? Does this work because many people will like environmentalism online or share documentaries? Or because many online activities are set up? Because there is more room for negotiation about environmentalism? So my question is: what is the potential of CMC for environmentalism when we look at it more practically and relate it to Brazil?

    Besides that I am simply wondering: do you believe that a global inclusive society is possible? Especially, when we take hegemonic notions and power struggle into account? Might it be the case that we are always ‘othering’ people? Is this also one of your points?

    Thanks for the very nice video!
    Best wishes,
    Joia

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  2. Alix says:

    Thanks Joia! Great to see that I got my point across, especially in the end. And I completely agree with your point that the link between online activism and the case of Greenpeace Brazil is somewhat implicit (so as not to say, weak) – which is exactly what I focus on in my final essay.

    With regard to your final questions: No, notions or processes of ‘othering’ are not part of my story or even – in my opinion – very relevant to the topic I’m exploring here. I think there is a difference between acknowledging that there are different approaches to environmentalism as well as power relations between the Global North and South (which are crucial to be reflected upon when exploring such approaches) and problems of ‘othering’, where a ultimate and categorical ‘other’ (of the West) is constructed.

    There is some evidence in the literature as to the emergence of a global civil society (at least when it comes to climate change), but I think the concept of ‘inclusivity’ is rather difficult to begin with. What became apparent during my literature review is that transnational environmental activism will almost always be domestically embedded or ‘glocalised’ in the respective country, e.g. in Brazil, and will thus necessarily include local activists and grassroot movements. Environmentalism mostly works through networks of local, national and international actors, and by doing so even major Western transnational NGOs will have to – in some aspects – adapt to local approaches and ideas. That does surely imply some sort of inclusivity and bottom-up dynamics but whether that all that the concept of ‘inclusivity’ entails may be disputable.

    But this latter point is basically why I end my video with the questions whether glocalised – and in the case of Brazil: socioenvironmental – approaches are the only realistic approaches to begin with. I could have continued the video for another five minutes, but luckily the program I used only provided a free trial of five minutes and I had to end my story at that point 😉

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  3. Payal Arora says:

    Dear Alix,
    I really enjoyed your video and reading your response to Joia’s thoughtful questions. Adding to this rich feedback, I would like to underline that what was most powerful about the video storytelling is your use of rhetorical questions to engage the audience and also at the same time marking the diverse dimensions to this subject. good job on that! Your argument is well built and thorough overall and indeed, the job of this video is to make the audience think deeper about these issues by juxtaposing difficult questions with powerful vivid statistics and examples. Overall good job.

    Like

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