Decolonising The Ecologist

20th May 2021 |

Adnan Elbursh, a BBC Arabic reporter, reporting live from Gaza as an Israeli airstrike takes down a neighbouring building.  

Apply now for the The Ecologist Writers' Fund.

We are particularly keen to encourage BAME, LGBTQ, women and working class contributors.

Journalists, academics and activists researching social and environmental justice who are from marginalised communities are today being invited to apply to the new Ecologist Writers' Fund - using a simple form

Apply now!

The fund was launched by The Ecologist earlier this year and has already raised more than £1,400 from 45 readers and subscribers to our newsletter. The largest donation, of £500, was made "in memory of the young wildlife activist Iggy Fox".

The fund will pay £200 for a news article based on original research that amplifies voices that are often marginalised in environmental journalism.

Imbalance

Voices from within the capitalist core countries - disproportionately white, disproportionately male and from relatively secure socio-economic backgrounds - have long dominated the journalism profession.

The Ecologist has in recent years consciously attempted to play a part in reversing this bias by platforming voices from communities marginalised by the history and legacy of imperial colonialism, ongoing racism, patriarchy and other structural inequalities.

However, The Ecologist has often relied heavily on the generosity and good will of our contributors. We recognise this can, by default, end up privileging the voices and experiences of those most able to afford to give their time for free. This not only replicates hierarchies of exclusion, it also undermines the strength and impact of the Ecologist by failing to draw on the widest possible spectrum of insights and experiences from our movements.

Extractivism

If we want to break through these limitations, we need to find new ways to financially support those whose material conditions currently exclude them from being able to contribute; in particular writers of colour, those from the LGBTQI communities, disabled people and the working-class. This is obviously also relevant to those communities that have been directly impacted by environmental extractivism and exploitation.

In an attempt to move towards redressing this problem we launched the Ecologist Writers' Fund - and asked our readers to contribute to a pot of money we can  then use to pay contributors and to commission content that will broaden the representation of the communities and issues we feature.

Catastrophe

We are pleased to announce - and in thanks to the help of our readership - that we are now in a position to start commissioning articles. We are particularly keen to encourage BAME, LGBT+, self-identifying women and working class contributors to apply using our form.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone of you who has donated to our fund so far, and to once again ask those who have yet to contribute to do so.

It's imperative that we build and nurture the next generation of environmental writers if we are to create the coalitions necessary to prevent climate catastrophe. If you can spare just £10 a month, then please do consider setting up a regular payment.

This Author

Yasmin Dahnoun 

As a journalism graduate from the University of Westminster, and someone who has consistently struggled to enter an industry that is largely unpaid, I'm excited to be working with The Ecologist to help bring forward some exciting new voices. 

Donate

The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.