The Funambulist #47 – (MAY-JUNE 2023) FOREST STRUGGLES


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“A magazine with an activist line that does not follow the same political standards when it comes to its production has no reason to exist.” – Freunde von Freunden

The Funambulist is a magazine that engages with the politics of space and bodies. Our hope is to provide a useful platform where activist/academic/practitioner voices can meet and build solidarities across geographical scales. Through articles, interviews, artworks, and design projects, we are assembling an ongoing archive for anticolonial, antiracist, queer, and feminist struggles. The print and online magazine is published every two months and operates in parallel with an open-access podcast and a blog. 

The 47th issue of The Funambulist is dedicated to “Forest Struggles.” This title intends to describe the simultaneity of political struggles taking place in forests, and political struggles taking place for the forests. The massive efforts of deforestation around the world, in particular along the equator (Peru, Brazil, Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Malaysia, West Papua…), although specific to each context’s political climate, are the symptoms of a colonial and capitalist extractivism often connected with a suppression of Indigenous political struggle, or mere existence in their sylvan environment.

Whether forest struggles consist in the defense of the forest itself by Indigenous and/or ecological activists, or if these struggles reveal the reality that trees were meant to dissimulate, we mean to showcase a few instances of political movements occurring under the sylvan canopies. Throughout this issue (that counts no less than six texts translated from Hindi, French, Spanish, and Portuguese), the Amazon nut trees (Paulo Tavares, Hannah Meszaros Martin, Uýra) dialog with Gabon’s okoumé (Mbwelili), West Papua’s palms (Sophie Chao), St. Vincent’s Soufrière trees (Thabisile Griffin with photos by Nadia Huggins), Chhattisgarh’s sals (Jacinta Kerketta), and Clichy-Montfermeil’s beech trees (Feda Wardak and Romain Rampillon). The cover features the artwork A Mata Se-Te Come by Uýra.

This issue’s News from the Fronts come from Tunisia (Nadia Ben-Youssef) and Chile (Daniela Catrielo). They are accompanied by a creative essay by Fowota Mortoo.

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