//WORKING GROUP 6
DECOLONIZING THE IMAGINARY
About This Group
Economic growth and development are central to capitalist societies, but this redefinition of well-being as consumption-based has led to wide-scale destruction of the environment as well as human suffering. Mainstream sustainability science, policy and planning have failed to address this problem. Yet even radical propositions to reduce the overconsumption of industrialized nations through degrowth struggle to devise alternatives to and visions of a world beyond capitalism. Latouche (2015) draws on the concept of the imaginary, “the capacity to see a thing as it is not” (Castoriadis 1987), to argue that our social imaginary has been colonized by economic imperatives. The imaginary must therefore be decolonized (e.g., by de-Westernizing and abolishing growth, development and commodification) in order to create lifeworlds of sustainability and well-being. In WG6, we explore concrete ways to facilitate this process, both for individual and social imaginaries.
Castoriadis, Cornelius. 1987. The imaginary institution of society. MIT Press.
Latouche, Serge. 2015. Imaginary, Decolonization of. In Giacomo D’Alisa, Giorgos Kallis, & Federico Demaria (eds.) , Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Age. London: Routledge, pp. 117–20.
Project Researcher, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
I study the diverse entanglements of living beings, especially through the lens of food and agriculture. My interests include degrowth, more-than-human geography, sustainable food systems, informal green space (such as vacant lots and street or railway verges), urban ecology, and environmental justice.
Publications and outputs