Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sunday writing in Uganda

Writing on a Sunday in Uganda and feeling grateful. The umbrella canopy of a Terminalia is outstretched above my incessant typing. My manuscript and the African sun are separated by the glowing green, red and yellow leaves.

The news of a far away post-truth America, shafts of sunlight, and the big woody leaves of the Terminalia fall like books from library shelves and interrupt my writing.

Crying neighborhood babies, laughing drunkards, birdsong of many bird species, loud streets of marching bands, church music, motorcycles and horns interrupt my writing. I welcome all the interruption. Interruption belongs in the writing. My feeling is that it is a kind of celebration of wildness this morning, to allow interruption, chaos and reality to dance together while I am writing. Birds and babies and presidents will continue as I write. I let them.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Religious freedom for the Oceti Sakowin

#nodapl, #indigenousrising

Spiritual Leaders of the Oceti Sakowin Invoke American Indian Religious Freedom Act
Cannon Ball, ND - On November 15th Spiritual Leaders of the Oceti Sakowin, otherwise known as the Seven Council Fires evoked Executive Order 13007, American Indian Religious Freedom Act to conduct a ceremony near the drilling pad Dakota Access is building to drill under the Missouri River. The elders traveled by boat from the Cannon Ball marina to the site and upon arrival erected a Tipi. While the Elders and Tribe were given permission to practice ceremony by the Army Corps, Dakota Access security still showed up to harass and question the elders. Dakota Access also filmed the ceremony from a distance, which violates the Executive Order. 
Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, the Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and Spiritual Leader for the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota, Faith Spotted Eagle, Nakota, and Kevin Dear of the Six Nations were among the elders who led the ceremony. 
"Today we lit the sacred fire to pray for the water and to pray for unity across the nation. Today we honor our past and present for future generations. In addition, we prayed for the protection of our sacred sites, which there are thousands, along the Missouri River," said Arvol Looking Horse. 
Days before the ceremony took place, tribal headsmen scouted the area and identified sacred sites in this location that is between the drilling pad and the Missouri River. 
Photos by Josue Rivas

Agroecology exchange in Uganda


May 2016 in a landmark meeting over 70 individuals, who share decades of hard work and activism on agroecology, came together to discuss factors for successful amplification of agroecology. Looking at the spread of agroecology as something different from traditional 'scaling up', they identified key lessons from their work.
The four day Agroecology Learning Exchange took place in Uganda and was organised by the AgroEcology Fund and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa in May 2016. ILEIA facilitated the event, and also compiled the rich insights of the meeting in a new report: Agroecology Learning Exchange (PDF)