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Accepted Paper:

Hope, autopoiesis and permaculture in Romania and the UK  
Katy Fox (Mycelium ecosocial design agency)

Paper long abstract:

This paper draws on comparative research conducted in Romania with people who choose to lead a 'peasant way of life' and with budding permaculture designers and activists who were also involved in the Transition Towns initiative in the UK. I focus especially on how these two groups re-imagine hope and crisis in their everyday practices, and how this contrasts with other 'environmentalist' practices, outlining the key differences and commonalities between the everyday practices of both groups. I consider the implications of real engagement with practice-oriented research for anthropology in theory, practice and dissemination. Kenrick's (2009: 52) 'commons thinking' approach assumes that we live in a common-life world upon which we all depend, that problems stem from a breakdown in relationships and that solutions are primarily about restoring these relationships. I propose the concepts of hope and autopoiesis as a way to change anthropological knowledge formation regarding desirable practical change.

Panel W019
Crisis, environmental anthropology, and the garden: local resilience, sustainable living and alternative food production
  Session 1