The Territorial Re-existences Lab is an encounter which, with Colombian researchers and activists Lavinia Fiori and Libia Grueso, and presented by Carmen Haro and moderated by Josimar Castillo and Elisa Fuenzalida from Redes por el clima (Networks for Climate), aims to pool the strategic visions, conceptual tools and narratives to deal with the climate crisis. These visions, tools and narratives are the outcome of a collective development carried out through previous participatory work in citizen labs in Casa San Cristóbal from the Montemadrid Foundation and the La Parcería cultural association.
The current situation of climate emergency necessitates not only a call for resistance, but also for listening to experiences of re-existence and the activation of past memories of collapse, plundering and extractivism. How is life re-born after these experiences and is it re-organised? What does “re-exist” mean exactly? How do we resist from re-existence? What are the narratives in the face of a common emergency? Who narrates, and from where and with which vocabulary? Which legal and communication tools have been developed from re-existence?
The major strand of previous labs involved processes of decision-making and horizontal participation linked to specific territories, analysing the ways in which they transform them and foster the creation of links between different organised communities and social movements through the crossover of three paradigmatic experiences: prior consultation in the Black Communities Process in Colombia — the right ethnic groups have to decide on legislative and administrative measures in their territories — and struggles for the defence of the Mar Menor in Murcia and Cañada Real Galiana between La Rioja and Ciudad Real. The encounter will divulge the results of these laboratories in order to create new strategies and activate existing practices in relation to the Earth and ourselves, acknowledging that there is not simply one environmental narrative but rather diverse experiences, images, memories and situated vocabularies.
Josimar Castillo is a mediator in Redes por el clima with over seven years’ experience in implementing third-sector (NGO) projects and working with Colombian organisations in vulnerable communities. He studied Social Communication at the Cooperative University of Colombia and is currently studying an MA in Communication and Sociocultural Problems at Rey Juan Carlos University.
Lavinia Fiori is an anthropologist with an MA in Communication and over twenty years’ experience advocating social participation for sustainable development. As head of communication, she was part of the facilitating team in the process of participatory construction in Decree 1745 for the implementation of Law 70 of 1993 for Black communities in Colombia.
Elisa Fuenzalida is a researcher and mediator with Redes por el clima, the editor of the Arts of the Working Class publication, and an assistant curator on the Museo Reina Sofía’s Aníbal Quijano Chair. She has directed research projects that include El futuro era tu cuerpo and participates as a guest lecturer on the 2023 programme at Universitat der Künste in Berlin.
Libia Grueso is a social worker and a specialist in Environmental Education and Political Studies. She is also a co-founder of the Black Communities Process (PCN). In 2004, she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, and is currently an advisor of Ethnic Affairs at the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia.
Carmen Haro is a researcher and professor at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid and a coordinator at Redes por el clima. With a PhD in Communication and Social Sciences, in recent years she has promoted projects such as Agrolab, in collaboration with the Madrid Institute for Rural, Agrarian and Food Research and Development (IMIDRA) and the Community of Madrid, and the Ecosystems Project (2020–2021), with Intermediae Matadero, Medialab Prado and Madrid City Council, among others.