At the nexus of energy and agriculture, Groundings gathers a community of researchers, practitioners, and organisers in Växjö to ask what it means to ground our modes of study in collective struggle. The conference engages a diversity of research tactics in response to an ongoing shift in environmental discourse towards the extractive zones (Gómez-Barris 2017) and terminal landscapes (Diamanti 2021) of capital's energic and agricultural metabolisms as terrains across which the histories and horizons of multispecies survival, collective autonomy, and ecological flourishing are contested. Featuring keynotes from Jeff Diamanti and The Underground Division (Helen V. Pritchard, Jara Rocha, & Femke Snelting) followed by a culinary performance by local grower Zeenath Hasan, Groundings also foregrounds roundtable discussions, group readings, and other modes of collaborative study to initiate an ongoing inquiry into grounded traditions of practice-based research.
From the decolonial practices of Walter Rodney's Groundings With My Brothers (1966) to the working-class environmentalism of Sven Lindqvist's Dig Where You Stand (1978), this two-day conference aims to build a collective vocabulary and critical infrastructure around methodologies that remain accountable to the interlocking demands of decolonisation, decarbonisation, and liberation. Situated within ongoing struggles over energy and agriculture, this initial gathering asks how 'grounded environmental and territorial questions' might manifest as an 'on-the-ground set of contingent politics' (Gergan & Curley, 2021) within these fields. Whether speaking of renewable practices or large-scale farming, these terrains continue to be framed by the manifold emergent and long-standing settler colonial technologies that organize them, hardening relations to land based on domination in transnational arenas (Yang 2017) and modes of financial exploitation or extractive speculation (Dunlap 2021). Nonetheless, the current 'crisis' of energy and agriculture marks an opening for radical interventions.
Addressing both 'terrains of domination' and 'terrains of struggle,' we invite contributions across multiple formats to delineate the material, methodological, and 'epistemological grounds through which we theorize and imagine and name liberation' (McKittrick 2006; 2021). Disturbing the sediments of empire, filmmaker Filipa César's '"mining"' of historical strata' (2018) in Amílcar Cabral's agronomical texts provincialises Marxist accounts of soil metabolism while contemporary framings of 'racist environments' (Opperman 2019; Sharpe 2017), decolonial botany (Sheikh & Gray 2018), or late neoliberalism's 'polluted politics' (Onís 2021) take up lineages of anticolonial struggle to envision transformative ecologies. We might also look to feminist agroecological practices shared through generational knowledge and anticapitalist relations to land (Tamm & Wägner 1940; Sonjasdotter 2019) or to the 'grounded' place-based solidarities (Coulthard & Simpson 2016) that shape Indigenous resistance to fossil capital and colonial agronomy. Within the ancestral territory of Sápmi, which stretches across the settler states of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia, Indigenous Sámi land is exploited through the corporate extractivism and green colonialism of wind and water energy projects. Refusing these modes of capture, Indigenous land stewardship movements such as the Áltá Action or Ellos Deatnu! counter the horizons of capitalist 'green transition' through direct actions that frame artistic practices as an intrinsic part of the struggle for self-determination (García-Antón, Gaski & Guttorm 2020; Kuhn 2020).
In taking up the provocation of militant research practices as an attempt to 'generate capacity for struggles to read themselves' (Colectivo Situaciones 2005), Groundings seeks to cement alliances between an expansive set of disciplinary coordinates including anticolonial methods, environmental humanities, artistic research, postcapitalist and decolonial design, critical geography, infrastructure studies, historical materialism, activism, solidarity studies, soil studies, queer trans*feminist technoscience, militant cinema, and beyond.
There is no conference fee. Lunches and refreshments will be provided to participants for both days of the conference. The performance dinner is also included for participants. The keynotes are open for non-conference participants to attend.
Groundings is supported by funding from Linnaeus University, Regenerative Energy Communities, and the Institute for Experimental Design and Media Culture (IXDM), FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern, Switzerland.
For any question, you can contact the Groundings team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for paper
We invite contributions in a range of formats, including panel papers, performance lectures, or shorter creative/critical roundtable provocations. Please submit a short bio and brief description (300 words max) of your research or practice, as well as your intended intervention in relation to the core conference themes. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Land-defence, place-based solidarity, and 'grounded normativity' (Coulthard 2014)
• Investigations of soil degradation, extractive land-use, or water pollution, through citizen sensing (Gabrys 2017), militant measurement, or 'dirty work' (Yang 2017)
• Socially-embedded research and milieu-specific methods
• Energy infrastructure, counterlogistics, and sabotage (Barney 2019)
• Anticolonial agroecological practices and decolonial botany (Sheihk & Gray 2018)
• Workers' inquiry and environmentalism 'from below'
• Green colonialism and resistance to 'infrastructures of empire' (Aouragh & Chakravartty 2016)
• Energy metabolism, agronomy, and metabolic rift
• Abolition geographies (Gilmore 2022) as sites for the material or grounded demands of liberation and freedom
• 'Racist environments' (Opperman 2019), Black feminist ecologies (Frazier 2020), and the agricultural interstices of the Black commons (Roane 2018)
• Multispecies ecological justice, solidarity, and world-building (Gumbs 2020; Simpson 2021)
• Mutual aid, autonomous infrastructures, and community self-defense
• Site-specific artistic research and design practices in relation to place-based histories of environmental resistance
• Agroecological and other grassroots movements and initiatives tied to farming and food production through non-invasive methods and collective resistance to monocultural oppression
• Indigenous methodologies and regenerative knowledge for land-based practices of refusal
• Eco-nationalism and anti-fascism (Zetkin Collective 2021)
Please send submissions to email@example.com by October 10th
You will be informed if your proposal is accepted on October 17th
THURSDAY DEC 1
09.00 Sign in & coffee
09.15 Introduction & welcome
09.30 Keynote: Jeff Diamanti, ‘Tender Violence’ (Södra-salen, M1083V)
11.30 Breaking Ground: Energy, Extraction, Counterpractice (M1088)
Rose-Anne Gush & Philipp Sattler, ‘The Measure of Land, Or, How on Earth does one get to own a mountain?’
Fred Carter, ‘Terrains of Struggle: Grounding the Open Field’
Regenerative Energy Communities, ‘Grounding Collective Energy Imaginaries in the Soil’
14.00 Political Agroecology: Subsistence Struggles & Culinary Interventions (M1088)
Studio HOTmess (Charlotte Moore & Maria Saeki), ‘Edible Hinterlands’
Gabriela Aquije Zegarra, ‘Culinary Return: Crafting Slow Disturbances from Chacra (farm) to Kitchen’
Åsa Sonjasdotter, ‘Re-reading Peace With the Earth’
Chitra Sangtani, ‘Caste, Contamination & Contested Ecologies: The Case of Yamuna Khadar in Delhi’
15.45 Coffee & fika
16.00 Screening: Åsa Sonjasdotter, Cultivating Abundance (2022) (Södra-salen, M1083V) film screening & Q&A
18.30 Keynote: Zeenath Hasan, Eat What Grows Within (M-Hus Main Hall) performance meal
FRIDAY DEC 2
09.30 From the Áltá Action to Present Struggles (Södra-salen, M1083V)
Elina Waage Mikalsen & Magnus Holmen, Geaidnoearus / Ved Veiskillet (2022) film screening & introduction
Søstrene Suse, Baajh vaeride årrodh! Let the mountains live! (2021) listening session followed by Q&A with Ingrid Fadnes
10.45 Colonial Infrastructure & Sámi Resistance (M1088)
Láhja Ida Soininen, ‘Čájet Sámi Vuoiŋŋa! Colonial History in Sápmi & Language as a Cultural Carrier’
Kolonierna, ‘Green Colonialism & Resistance in Sápmi’
13.00 Fielding Practice: Sites, Grounds, Terrains (M1088)
Laboratory for Aesthetics & Ecology (Ida Bencke & Dea Antonsen), ‘Hosting Lands: Between the Ruin, the Forest & the Field’
Roberta Burchardt, ‘Polyphonic Reading: The Luso-Brazilian Sobrado House’
Cassandra Troyan & Helen V. Pritchard, ‘The Anti-Menagerie: Trans-species Solidarity & Resistance in the Field’
14.30 Coffee & fika
14.45 Submerged Grounds, Reclaimed Lands (M1088)
William Jamieson, ‘The Island at the End of the World: The Plot Holes of Land Reclamation & the Sediments of the Anthropocene’
Sean O’Brien, ‘On the Possibilities of Post-Growth Living: Racialized Foreclosure in Post-Katrina Climate Fictions’
Winnie Soon & Lee Tzu Tung, ‘Forkonomy(): How to buy/own/mint one millilitre of the ocean from the South China Sea?’
16.30 Keynote: The Underground Division (Jara Rocha, Helen V. Pritchard, Femke Snelting), ‘Undergroundings: Infrastructures for Removal’ (Södra-salen, M1083V)
19.30 Buffet dinner at MäM, Italianske Palatset
20.30 Plant-based afterparty!
End of conference hangout, drinks, and collective making with Regenerative Energy Communities: experimenting with micro-energy prototypes and low-powered circuits at the underground plant-rave.
We have pre-booked rooms at the following hotels. Please call or email your reservation with booking code “Groundings” and you will receive our special price for the conference.
NOTE: The pre-booked rooms cannot be booked through the hotel's own website or other booking sites.
(single room from 1150 SEK per night)
Kungsgatan 6, Box 198
352 31 VÄXJÖ
You can book by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call +46 (0)470 – 13400
(Special price until Nov 1st 2022)
(single room from 1115 SEK per night)
351 96 VÄXJÖ
You can book by email: email@example.com
Or call +46 (0)470 – 34 89 80
(Special price until Nov 1st 2022)
(single room from 895 SEK per night)
Norra Esplanaden 21 A
SE-352 31, VÄXJÖ
You can book by email firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone +46/470 – 70 22 00
(Special price until nov 17th 2022)
(single room from 795 SEK per night)
SE-352 33 VÄXJÖ
You can book by email email@example.com
or telephone +46 (0)470 – 77 67 00
(Special price until nov 23rd 2022)
If you want to share a room some of the hotels above offer rooms for double occupancy at the same or a slightly higher price.
Are you looking for more affordable accommodations we suggest that you visit one of the following websites:
About Linnaeus University and the City of Växjö
Linnaeus University is a creative and international knowledge environment that promotes curiosity, creativity, companionship and utility. More than 44,000 students are registered at Linnaeus University.
Linnaeus University is located in Växjö and Kalmar and offers 150 degree programmes and 1,300 single-subject courses. Linnaeus University was established in 2010 through a merger between Växjö University and Kalmar University College.
With some 2,100 employees and 44,000 students it is a modern university with Småland as its base and the world as its arena. Studying and working at Linnaeus University involves being part of an environment that is characterised by knowledge and development. Students acquire new knowledge and learn to have a critical approach. Researchers make new discoveries that can bring change to our society. Employees share stories of a workplace with both challenges and opportunities. Linnaeus University is a university where people can reach their full potential.
And Yes, it is true that Linnaeus University has a castle on campus! The castle of Teleborg is not as old as it looks but we are very pleased with the 'magic touch' it brings to campus Växjö.
You can easily take a bus (every 10 minutes) or walk (approx. 45 minutes) from Campus to the city centre - today Växjö is one of the fastest growing cities in all Sweden with a lot to see and experience.
Travel to and from Växjö
There are a number of different ways to travel to Växjö. You can either take the train to Växjö Central station or travel by air to Växjö Småland Airport.
If you travel by train to Växjö you will reach Växjö Central located in the city centre. Travelling by train from Stockholm Central to Växjö Central takes roughly 3.5 hours.
If you instead choose to travel by air, you can choose to travel either from Bromma Stockholm Airport or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Växjö Småland Airport. You can also reach Växjö via flight to Copenhagen Airport/Kastrup and connecting direct train to Växjö Central (roughly 2.5 hours).
Please note that no matter which route you choose, you need to check with your airline about corona specific restrictions for their flights - we know that this may vary from airline to airline!
From one point to another within the City of Växjö
For travel from Växjö Central or Växjö Småland Airport to Linnaeus University we recommend either bus or taxi.
When travelling by bus from Växjö Central to Linnaeus University, bus number 3, direction “Universitetet”, is the best option. However, there are also other bus routes that pass by one of the university’s bus stops or bus stops nearby, for instance, route number 1 and 5, which take you to Teleborg Centrum, some 8–10 minutes’ walk from the university’s campus.
Bus number 4 will take you from Växjö Småland Airport to Växjö Central where you can change to bus to get to Linnaeus University.
Bus tickets are purchased either on the bus with a debit card or you can download the travel app “Länstrafiken Kronoberg” and purchase your ticket in the app, which will give you a 10% discount on your ticket. You use your debit card to pay in the app.
In case you prefer a bicycle, many hotels can offer this. It takes roughly 20 minutes with a bicycle from the city centre to Linnaeus University’s campus.
Most taxi companies start from Södra Bantorget at World Trade Center which means you can find available taxis here.
There is a relative shortage of parking spaces on campus and all are subject to a charge. Parking spaces are marked on the map below.
The conference “Groundings" is a sustainability-assured meeting in accordance with Linnaeus University’s guidelines for sustainable events. These guidelines are linked to the 17 global goals in Agenda 2030 and comprise the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, the social, and the environmental. Learn more about Linnaeus University’s sustainable events here.