The Vital Compass: A Conversation With Vanessa Andreotti


Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 16 – REFUGE, a special edition to mark the tenth anniversary of the Dark Mountain Project. The second time I meet Vanessa Andreotti, we’re in the lobby of a Paris hotel. There are signs warning guests against trying to get around by taxi. It’s Saturday, 1st December, 2018 – or Act III, according to the calendar of the gilets jaunes protesters who are converging...

We Are the Only Species We Have the Option of Being: A Conversation With Anne Tagonist


Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 9. A couple of weeks before COP21, I did an interview with an American radio station. They set me up against another guest, a professor at Yale who specialises in the psychology of climate communication. I don’t know what my credentials were meant to be, on this occasion, except that the producer said, ‘I spend a lot of time interviewing people...

When Promises of Progress Fail Us


Published in Resurgence: Issue 289. A review of two books that grew out of conversations among the friends and collaborators of Ivan Illich: Grassroots Postmodernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures by Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash, and The Future of Development: A Radical Manifesto by Gustavo Esteva, Salvatore Babones and Philipp Babcicky. When I hear the word ‘postmodernism’ outside of a...

Dealing With Our Own Shit: A Conversation With Gustavo Esteva


Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 4. There were eagles riding the air overhead as we took the backroad out of San Pablo Etla to the Casa Esteva. The taxi driver had left us at the crossroads: at ease in the highspeed free-for-all of the highway, he had no desire to risk his exhaust on the unpaved road ahead, so a young man from one of the neighbouring households drove down to collect us. It was...

Coming to Our Animal Senses: A Conversation with David Abram


In the opening pages of The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram stands in the night outside his hut in Bali, the stars spread across the sky, mirrored from below in the water of the rice paddies, and countless fireflies dancing in between. This disorientating abundance of wonder is close to what many of his readers have felt on encountering Abram’s words and his way of making sense of the world.