Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
An Ecocultural Center in the Peloponnese and its network of ecovillages across Greece have emerged as a form of resilience against debt crisis and austerity politics. This research connects the moral economies dominant in ecovillages with broader structural changes in the region to explore impromptu forms of economic and social organization that respond to the damaging effects of austerity. Ecovillage projects often claim to be “apolitical” in nature or residing “outside” of “crisis,” while they also claim to provide local solutions to large-scale global problems like climate change and economic deprivation. Like other solidarity initiatives found across Greece, ecovillages are opening new political horizons and merge the different genealogies of egalitarian leftist politics and environmental movements (ones often claimed to be apolitical in nature) under a common vision of economic and environmental regeneration achieved by divesting in fossil fuels and catalyzing local socio-economic structures. By taking seriously the agency and cooperation of “messy” social actors, including animals and “natural” elements, ecovillages reproduce a daily politics of recognition and regeneration that bridges ideologies of environmental and economic cooperation. The paper addresses how regeneration is conceptualized and practiced at the Ecocultural Center and its ecovillage network as it relates to economic, social, and ecological practices in the context of debt crisis and austerity in Greece.