In this interview Dr. Gustavo García-López, lecturer and environmental justice activist from the islands of Puerto Rico (Borikèn), discusses his influences, his work, and his visions for the future of social-environmental movements in Puerto Rico and beyond. The interview took place on February 7th, soon after the three-day international “Post-Extractive Futures” conference which Dr. García-López co-organized in collaboration with international social change organizations War on Want, Tipping Point UK, and JunteGente. Among other topics, Dr. García-López describes the conference: How extractive practices which threaten environmental justice and ecological equality have stoked both frustration and commutation among organizers and participants.
The future of the ‘commons,’ life in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and the future of environmental activism.
Dr. Gustavo García-López is a scholar-activist from Puerto Rico working on/with environmental justice movements and commoning initiatives for transformational paths towards more just and ecological worlds. He is an engaged researcher, educator, and organizer at the Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra (Portugal), and the 2019-2021 Prince Claus Chair at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague (Netherlands). As an activist, he is a founding member of the JunteGente collective in Puerto Rico, the Climate justice Network, and the Undisciplined Environments blog. Dr. García-López lives uprooted from his land but finding home and guiding stars in his daughter Maia, and his partner Irina. He is held in life by broad networks of care and nourishment, of people, spirits, memories, and ecologies.
This interview was conducted by Ian Van der Ven. He is a first-year Master of Arts candidate at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (Massachusetts), concentrating on questions of gender, intersectionality, and security.
Music used in the interview, “Costa Rica”by Bomba Estéreo, BY-NC-ND is available here.
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