Habitable Air

Unveiling the Intersection of Climate, Race, and Religion: New Research Explores Bolivia’s Environmental Politics

Anthropologist Mareike Winchell’s Article Sheds Light on Climates of Anti-Blackness and Indigenous Resilience

Habitable Air is pleased to present a groundbreaking research article titled “Climates of Anti-Blackness: Religion, Race, and Environmental Politics in Bolivia” by Mareike Winchell, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, and project affiliate on Habitable Air. The article delves into the intricate connections between climate change, racial dynamics, and religious revivalist movements in Bolivia.

In this thought-provoking piece, Winchell unveils the complex narratives surrounding wildfires in Bolivia and the subsequent racialisation of blame. The article challenges prevailing discourses and reveals the underlying racial theologies that shape global responses to climate change. It uncovers the hidden alliances between nationalism, religious movements, and ecological nativisms that influence the perception of environmental issues.

Winchell’s research centres on the collaborative efforts of lowland Indigenous organisers in Chiquitanos, who strive to navigate the challenges of climate change, land redistribution, and conservationism. The article explores their resilient fight against chronic human and environmental injuries, defying the separation of climate change from Indigenous land dispossession and racial violence.

By cantering Indigenous cosmological and ontological systems, Winchell emphasises the importance of acknowledging and learning from diverse epistemologies and locations. The article calls for a re-evaluation of the modern Western conception of property and resources, inviting readers to embrace Indigenous traditions of ecological stewardship.

The research also sheds light on the reproduction of racialised blame in urban climate mitigation efforts, particularly concerning Indigenous migrants. It urges a more inclusive approach to climate action that addresses climate change as both an environmental phenomenon and a racial paradigm. Winchell highlights the critical need to bridge the gap between mainstream climate science and the experiences of marginalised communities.

This thought-provoking article provides valuable insights into the entanglements of climate change, racial politics, and religious revivalist movements. It challenges prevailing narratives and calls for a more equitable and sustainable future.

We encourage readers to delve into this compelling research by Mareike Winchell to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities at the intersection of climate, race, and religion. By examining the intertwined dynamics of these forces, we can work towards a more just and inclusive approach to environmental politics.

To read the full article, please visit the Canopy Forum website: https://canopyforum.org/2023/06/06/climates-of-anti-blackness-religion-race-and-environmental-politics-in-bolivia/. Join the conversation on #ClimateChange, #RacialJustice, and #EnvironmentalPolitics to engage with this important topic and contribute to building a sustainable future.