EDITORIAL: EARTH DECOLONIZATION AND ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION
The new issue of the journal falls on the dramatic moment of the military confrontation in Ukraine, which provoked the most serious humanitarian, economic and moral losses. The current situation is also deeply ecologically destructive. It is characterized by the priority of geostrategic thinking, and relegates to the background the tasks of sustainable development and the implementation of international policies related to confronting the environmental crisis. A new ghost of ‘Dark Ages’ hangs over humanity, and we do not know what price it will have to pay for armed confrontation and the economic, political and environmental challenges associated with it.
However, as Sing Chew1 proposed, critical situations often reveal all the options available to us. Chew was pessimistic about the prospects for deliberate social transformation to avoid ecological collapse, but he has tried to put this in a positive light. As he put it: “Collapse… can be a rewarding time for the human community and Nature. For the human community, it is a time of experimentation, innovation, and increasing sociality. For Nature, it is a period of recovery from the increasing assault by the social system.” (p.139)
‘Dark Ages’ are really ages in which oppressive hierarchical social structures are dissolved, ecosystems are able to regenerate, and the creativity unleashed among people paves the way for the rise of new, less oppressive and more sustainable civilizations.
Indeed, the current geopolitical struggle reveals deep and intractable contradictions hidden in the bowels of the existing unipolar world order, which has developed under the dominance of the hegemonic worldviews of the past, striving to achieve their ultimate goal of complete control over the planet and humanity.
Behind the neo-colonialism of the 21st century, fiercely resisting the loss of its dominant positions, one can see the prospect of an ecological civilization, the ecology of humans and the earth as a radically new system for regulating fair social and political relations, as well as the relationship of humankind with the earth. Such an ecological civilization can be seen as an alternative to the traditional forms of the free market and liberal democracy, since, in defiance of unrestrained human freedoms and appetites, it asserts the values and rights of the wider human and biotic communities of which we are a part. Only such a civilization can solve the key existential tasks of preserving the global ecosystem, maintaining fair interstate relations, taking into account the interests of different states and global centers of power, the task of preserving humankind.
A new ecological civilization riding on the wave of decolonization can not only save humanity and earthly life from destruction, it offers humanity an ecological modus vivendi. Without rejecting science and technology, it makes science and technology work for the benefit, and not against the interests of the planet and humanity, uniting ecology, humanities and economics.
Taking on the currently still vague prospect of creating an ecological civilization at a decisive moment in the eradication of the former hegemonic scenarios associated with blind faith in unlimited economic growth, we decided to pay attention to one of the central topics of modern politics and ecology - the theme of colonization and decolonization - in their close connection with the relationship of humankind with the earth. In “Search of the Ecohuman Paradigm: Theory, Methodology, Concepts” section of the journal, a series of articles is published in which several experts in the fields of expressive arts, therapy, and ecopsychology share their views on colonization and decolonization, taking into account an ecological and cultural-historical perspective.
The discussion is built in the form of a polylogue, where different authors use different scientific and biographical discourse, academic and poetic language, giving their answer to the existential challenge associated with the decisive historical moment of ecological, cultural and geopolitical decolonization. This topic is also touched upon in a review of Louise Dunlap's book, “Inherited Silence. Listening to the earth, healing the consciousness of the colonizer.”
An important new initiative of the journal is the creation of the section, "In Resonance with the Earth". It contains poetry and prose, visual arts, photographs, multimedia and other creative products that reflect our relationship with the natural world as a result of our creative union with it. This issue contains essays, poems, music, photographs, paintings by David Moss, Carrie Herbert (Great Britain), Alexander Kopytin (Russia), Odette Velez (Peru), Judith Alalu (Spain), Vadim Ryabikov (Russia), Steven Levin (Canada), Margot Knill (Switzerland).
Despite the monstrous surge of intolerance and violence against certain human communities and the natural world, the materials published in the section "In Resonance with the Earth" are evidence that mutual respect and dialogue between different cultures, their ecopoetic exchange and co-creation with each other and with the earth are a condition for survival and sustainability of the human and natural worlds.
1 Chew, S.C. (2008). Ecological futures: What history can teach us. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.