The Sweetness of Place

POSTED ON August 14, 2017 BY admin



At the next Padkos Bioscope we’re showing the brilliant documentary, “Zone to Defend”, that focuses on an important current site of resistance to ‘large, imposed and useless’ infrastructure development projects. The attached essay by Kristin Ross is the introduction to a new ebook – The Zad and NoTAV – that deals extensively with that resistance against a proposed new airport, as well as another site of struggle against a railway line. Ross reckons both flow from people realising that “the tension between the logic of development and that of the ecological bases of life ha[s] become the primary contradiction ruling their lives”. In that context, she argues that “any effort to change social inequality will have to be conjugated with another imperative – that of conserving the living. Defending the conditions for life on the planet has become the new and incontrovertible horizon of meaning of all political struggle”.
Ross also highlights how important it is for real struggle to overflow its specific context in an emancipatory politics but also to be located specifically and concretely in life and time and place. She says: “Space-specific, geographically defined struggles have a kind of refreshing flat-footedness about them. … Demands, concerns, and aspirations that are place-specific in kind create a situation that calls for an existential and political choice – one is either for the airport or against it. In the words of Marx to Vera Zasulich, writing in the context of an earlier rural battle against the state, ‘It is a question no longer of a problem to be solved, but simply of an enemy to be beaten . . . it is no longer a theoretical problem . . . it is quite simply an enemy to be beaten.’”