This reading group – organised by FRAUD and co-led by Arts Catalyst’s curator Anna Santomauro – takes Our Mother Ocean by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Monica Chilese as a starting point through which to explore struggles over control of the ocean – as a source of food, medicine, raw materials, biodiversity and culture.
Through their EURO—VISION project, commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Radar, FRAUD have been exploring how we can understand extraction beyond the removal and displacement of minerals - to encompass policies, international treaties and regulations that impose controversial forms of stewardship of natural resources on communities.
One such resource at the heart of their project is fisheries. Through a series of podcasts and a publication, including testimonies from fisherpeople, they've interrogated how the EU's enclosure of fisheries off the west coast of Africa drives migration, unpacking the ways in which Fisheries Partnership Agreements with ‘third countries’ have led to devastating impacts upon extra-Mediterranean marine life, such as the exhaustion of fish stocks, local fisheries and traditional marine knowledge.
This reading group is designed to supplement and expand on these issues by exploring alternative ways of organising the ocean's plenty. Participants will be sent a code to download Our Mother Ocean by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Monica Chilese after registering, and their reading of this text will then inform the discussion in the session. It's a powerful text which explores the Fisherman's Movement's resistance to colonial-capital's enclosure of the oceans worldwide.
Participants are free to read from the book as they see fit, and are asked to come to the session prepared to take part in a discussion based on this reading. No other preparation is required.
The digital copies of the book have been kindly made available by Common Notions.
This event is free but booking is essential, and can be done here
. As we only have a limited number of downloads of Our Mother Ocean
, we politely request that you only book for this event if you are committed to attending and undertaking some reading (you do not necessarily have to read the whole book prior to attending).
This event will take place on Zoom, and AI subtitles will be enabled. You will be asked about any specific access needs at the time of booking and we will endeavour to accommodate these.
OUR MOTHER OCEAN: BLURB
The ocean today is a central protagonist in the ongoing battle for life on earth. It is the site of a violent clash between the right to live and the right to profit, as corporate interests enclose the ocean’s vast common of living riches through tourism and industrial fishing—distorting landscapes, depleting fish stocks, and destroying barriers to protection against climate disaster.
Our Mother Ocean tells the story of the Fisherman’s Movement from its beginnings in Southern India to its central role in the struggle against neoliberal globalization. Since the 1970s, the Fisherman’s Movement has been one of the ocean’s closest and most impassioned protectors, raising key questions concerning the relationship between work and the safeguarding of common resources, the provision of community needs and environmental limits of the devastating industrialization of our oceans. While a remarkable political awareness has spread over the last 40 years around questions of food, agriculture and land, the issues of the sea have remained concealed, despite the protracted struggles between fish workers and those who oversee the sector and the exploitation of the ocean’s resources.
In this crucial intervention, Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Monica Chilese offer the ocean to the land-locked history of food sovereignty movements led primarily workers in the global South against dispossession.
Dalla Costa and Chilese draw attention to the polyvalent functions of the ocean as a source of food, medicine, raw materials, biodiversity and culture—and as a site of human labour and livelihood threatened by vast enclosures through industrial fishing and tourism. This book is an urgent reminder that the ocean is today the site of a heroic struggle for the preservation of life on earth. It points crucially to impassioned sectors of the movement of movements that endure in the global South, and details the stakes of the struggles and its outcomes on land and at sea as central for the future of life on earth.