Ruffling the feathers of KeepCup scholarship

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Against ‘neo-peasantry’ and the desire for self-sufficiency, an article recently written in Overland, misses three crucial points: Neopeasantry concerns community-sufficiency, an abiding connection to ancestry, and modelling carbon positive futures. These three things have been crudely disappeared by Rachel Goldlust in this polemical writing parading as scholarship. 

Here is the reply we posted on the Overland site:
Hi Rachel, we are that family from Daylesford you mention. We would have been open to being interviewed, even a visit, it’s a pity you only refer to a article as your main reference to us. 
In this writing you attempt to disappear our ancestors. Of course, ‘neo’ locates our ‘fessed up privilege in choosing to be peasant-like, but ‘peasant’ is our heritage, our families, our pre-industrial past prior to the enclosures and the ‘primitive accumulation’ of our ancestral lands.  
There is both an everyday intimacy and lived-politic that we’re advancing by championing this term. Our politic goes like this: If people can again have access to land they can produce alternative, land-conscious economies. They can decouple themselves from the giant wrecking ball global economy and potentially live a carbon-positive lifeway. We are modelling this politic every day. 
We don’t deny we’re on Dja Dja Wurrung country, we live that reality. We also don’t deny our own indigenous-peasant past and we draw on it to transition from what we call hypertechnocivility.  
Ultimately, we are neopeasants who apply permacultural principles to our home and community economies to further become accountable mammals of place, and this constitutes our practice of art, our culture making and our corporeal forms of feminism. 
Your article strikes us as another act of urbane violence directed at an imagined and clearly poorly understood target. We question your scholarship.


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