Susanne Normann: Re-living a Common Future in the Face of Ecological Disaster: Exploring (Elements of) Guarani and Kaiowá Collective Memories, Political Imagination, and Critiques
Published in Human Arenas, 2021
How to re-member a fragmented world while climate change escalates, and green growth models reproduce coloniality, particularly in Indigenous territories? What can be the concrete contributions from different scholarly disciplines to a broader decolonial project? These questions are debated by decolonial scholars who call to re-think our practices within academic institutions and in the fields that we study. This article contributes with a decolonial perspective to sociocultural psychology and studies on Indigenous knowledges about climate change. Through ethnographic methods and individual and group interviews, I engage with indigenous Guarani and Kaiowá participants’ knowledges and practices of resilience opposing green growth models in the Brazilian state Mato Grosso do Sul. Their collective memory of a different past, enacted through narratives, rituals, and social practices, was fundamental to imagine different possible futures, which put in motion transformation processes. Their example opens a reflection about the possibilities in connecting sociocultural psychology’s work on collective memory and political imagination to the broader decolonial project, in supporting people’s processes of re-membering in contexts of adverse conditions caused by coloniality and ecological disaster.