We are really pleased to endorse this initiative from Neriya and Maddy, two second year students at the University of Manchester. In this guest post they explain their ‘zine idea, which you can download or read online, from the links below.
Since our teens, we have both been involved in various climate activist groups. However it wasn’t until university, studying geography and Politics ,Philosophy and Economics, where we were introduced to the concept of degrowth. We both were drawn to degrowth as it facilitated our critiques of an economic system based on constant growth, and a framework through which to address both the pressing social and ecological issues we face.
Initial ideas for the degrowth zine came from our involvement with the four month programme Resist! led by the International Falcon Movement, Socialist Education International. This international programme is all about climate change and intersectionality, where training each month is accompanied by funding from the European Youth Foundation to create a community based project. The first month was specifically about anti-capitalism and the climate crisis, so we agreed it was a great time to create a zine about degrowth, and what a degrowth system means in Manchester, the city where we have been studying for three years.
We worked with a Manchester based artist, Josie Tothill, who created amazing art inspired by parts of the city. This included using old maps and well as incorporating art about modernity. This combination of Manchester’s history and the future is how we conceive degrowth to be and the incorporation of art within our work was something new but incredibly exciting for us. We wanted to make the zine as accessible as possible for different demographics. In part, the project was aimed at the university community, a demographic which has become increasingly frustrated with the marketisation of education and academia. Also, this zine is aimed towards the general public who are looking for solutions to address the flaws in the economic system as well as governmental failures regarding the climate crisis. We tried to tackle the many misconceptions surrounding degrowth in the zine as well as providing small practical things that people can get involved with or read about to learn more. We hope that by creating this zine, people will not only learn about degrowth as a concept, but also show how acts or organisations of degrowing the economy are already occurring in Manchester and hopefully it will encourage more people to join.
Neriya and Maddy