“Making Peace with the Earth and with Each other” A Call for Humanity

Vandana Shiva, an environmentalist, anti-globalist and eco-feminist author and the guest of “Hrant Dink Human Rights and Freedom of Expression” Conference held at Boğaziçi University pointed out that humanity must make peace with the earth and with each other in order to stand against an environment of war and hatred created by separating the earth and mankind through corporate exploitation.

“Hrant Dink Human Rights and Freedom of Expression” conference is organized annually by Boğaziçi University Department of Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and History Departments since 2008 and this year the conference was held on January 15, 2016 at Albert Long Hall with the participation of Vandana Shiva, an Indian environmentalist, anti-globalist, and eco-feminist author who is also one of the pioneers of the activist movement.

At the beginning of her speech titled “Making Peace with the Earth and with Each other”, Shiva recalled the assasination of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian Independence Movement in British-ruled India whose nonviolent political identity inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. “January is a month we lost those who were fighting for peace and freedom” said Shiva pointing out that like Hrant Dink, Gandhi was also trying to build bridges for peace “ Both Hrant and Gandhi argued that people from different religions and races are not enemies and that humanity should be a “whole” concept and should not be considered any different than the other evolutionary living beings on earth.

Shiva argued that segregation and separation causes hatred, violence and war not only between people, nations and countries but on earth and nature as well and monopoly powers created through playing with the earth and seeds in the name of science, in a sense, cause the emergence of issues such as drought, water and soil shortages as a result of climate change. These issues bring about war and migration as well as causing hatred between societies.

One of the triggers of war in Syria is drought and agricultural distruction

Corporate Globalization which started during the 1990’s created discrimination and hatred amongst the people which resulted in not just the destruction of humanity but had a devistating environmental impact in its pursuit of profit and power. Shiva pointed out that, the unrest and internal strife caused by the draught and the distruction of agricultural land in 2009 are the main triggers of war in Syria. “The Organic Farming Movement” which led to the conquest of nature’s most fundamental balances by the global forces eventually caused draught and thereof distruction of land. Climate change and global warming plays an important role in the emergence of wars and hence the death of thousands of people.

Shiva continued; “Even seed which is the most natural right the earth has given to nature and the humankind was taken from the hands of the farmers and seized by monopolies.

Shiva also pointed out that globalization separates people from their land and strips them off their identity and culture and forces them to become a single identity which then causes war and hate resulting from the creation of a uniform “ monocultural” system which can only be fueled by the drive to earn more. Clearly, corporate control violates all ethical and ecological limits.

In her closing remarks, Shiva wished for a world without segregation and separation for all humanity and a peaceful world which is whole again with its land, culture and people living in harmony which is only possible via resistance to corporate exploitation through a shift to earth-centered politics and economics