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About the talk:
The legacy of environmentalism within Black Radical struggles is an understudied phenomenon, even in environmental justice studies. Though environmental justice has analyzed the environmental burdens disproportionately faced by marginalized communities, most of these studies place the origins in the 1980s, thereby erasing the legacy and voices of environmental struggle from prior radical movements by communities of color. By erasing radical movements of color from the narrative, environmentalism becomes “color-neutral,” or white, and therefore, issues of environment become thought of as “white” in the publics’ imagination. Baran explores the genealogy of an already present environmental justice praxis within Black Radical Movements, by revealing the liberatory rhetoric of Black radical movements as they challenge the State. By locating these articulations and actions, Baran analyzes how environmentalism manifests within Black Radical movements, and challenges this erasure. In framing his paper this way he asks: How does erasure influence who is thought of as “rightful” users of land/space? How have Black Radical movements theorized environmental injustice? What are the strategies that are used in struggle and what are the implications for this thought in helping to envision and act towards transformative vision of society?
About the speaker:
Baran's work focuses on the intersections of carcerality, labor, and critical environmental studies. He researches the investment and rise in the carceral state and ongoing community and organizational challenges. He is also invested in research which locates the intersection of environmental justice and liberatory movements, especially as these movements challenge hegemony and disrupt state power while enacting alternative socio-spatial relationships.