Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club #31 / Earth Eaters

Over the course of the last two years, among many worldviews we learnt about multinaturalism through Yamomani cosmologies.

Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the Brazilian Amazon, leading to the collapse of health systems in several Amazon cities, endangering indigenous ethnic groups, facilitating the clearance of huge forested plots, and, in the process, giving rise to growing concerns about the possible emergence of new transmissible zoonotic diseases.

Sgambatti Monteiro, A., & Lima dos Santos, L. (2020). Covid-19 and the increasing fragility of the Brazilian Amazon.

It is becoming even more evident how colonial and capitalist extraction and plantation systems are destroying ecosystems, people and the planet.

Inspired by Kopenawa’s & Albert’s chapter ‘Earth Eaters’ we are dedicating this reading session to life-giving forests and those who can tell their stories:

To our elders, gold was just shiny flakes on the sand of the forest’s stream beds, like those we call möhere. They collected it to make a sorcery substance intended to blind people with whom they were angry. In the past, this metal dust was highly feared. […] When the white people tear minerals out of the ground, they grind them up with their machines, then heat them in their factories. During their work a fine dust emanates from these minerals, spreading like an invisible breeze in their cities. It is a dangerous sorcery substance that gets into their eyes and makes their eyesight worse and worse.

The Falling Sky Words of a Yanomami Shaman” by Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert. published by Harvard University Press, 2013, chapter 15, Cannibal Gold Earth Eaters.