For the audio of this episode, click here.

Tea with Mama Cash transcript: Consumer power, collective power

[theme music]

Happy: Hey everybody, and welcome to ‘Tea with Mama Cash’, because feminist activism works. We’re your hosts, Zohra Moosa and Happy Mwende Kinyili.

Zohra: Hi, I’m Zohra, the Executive Director at Mama Cash, and we just discovered that I am a pen-user, a pen-holder, but not a pen-stealer, and it really bothers me when people come into my office and take my pens.

Happy: And I’m Happy, the Director of Programs at Mama Cash, and I’m a stationary lover, so I buy stationary, notebooks, pens, and when people take my pens and don’t return them, I catch feelings and I have to hold myself, and be like, “It’s okay, it’s just a product, it’s just a product”.


And we’re super excited today because for the first time we have a guest. We’re super, super excited to be in conversation with Chihiro Geuzebroek. So Chihiro, welcome!

Chihiro: Hi, I’m Chihiro Geuzebroek and I’m one of the co-founders of Climate Liberation Bloc. Staying on the theme of stationary stuff, I am so happy with my new Mama Cash ‘Feminist with a to-do list’ notebook. I had one and then it was just filling up and then Mama Cash organised an event with ‘My Body is Mine’ and I got restocked and I’m happy to take more notes. So, yeah.

Zohra: Today we’re going to be talking about a pretty popular feminist topic: choice.
It’s a word that’s associated, often, with abortion rights, but actually the idea is linked to many other feminist issues as well, and it’s a question we keep returning to in a lot of our work. Where do we exercise choice in our own lives, about our own bodies, and what does that mean for what we’re trying to do in the world? In the ways that we’re trying to change the world, where does choice come in to that?


Happy: And one of my favourite words is ‘contradictions’. Especially when we’re thinking about choice, and how, very often, the choices we make in our lifestyles is actually in direct contradiction with our politics. So, Chihiro and Zohra, tell me a bit about the contradictions that you feel you hold around your choices, particularly today, because we’re going to be talking about our politics and our lifestyles. Where do you feel you hold contradictions and you’re either struggling to settle them or you’re like, ah, that’s next year’s problem.

Chihiro: Oh, I wouldn’t necessarily find a contradiction in next year’s problem, but more, how many choices am I not allowed to make? You know like, what choices have been taken off the table, and am I allowed to talk about them? Because a lot of my work revolves around system change, and the timeline that we’re on around climate emergency, it’s radical system change that we need right now. So, yeah, for me the first trigger with choice is like, oops, let’s talk about all the choices that we do not have, like replacing the government. We can vote for them, but we can’t just get rid of them. And, yeah, more of that.

Happy: Yeah, cool. What about you, Zohra?

Zohra: I think for me, I think choice is an area where, because it’s at an individual level, like when I’m thinking about my own choices, it gives me a false sense of control, and it makes me feel like I might be doing something that makes a difference, and that can feel like a good feeling, right? And it helps, personally, it helps me manage the panic around the climate emergency, for example, right? So, I think about, okay, will I take this mode of transport or that mode of transport? Will I stop using plastic straws and start using metal ones, and things like this, and it gives me a feeling like I’m doing something, at least.


But I think it mystifies actually, what’s actually happening. And so I’m really interested to talk on this episode of ‘Tea with Mama Cash’ about how do we continue to maximise the choices we can make, and make good choices within the choice frames that we have, but then actually ask some of the bigger questions that you raised, Chihiro, around what choices are actually being made for us and how do we interrupt that a little bit.

Chihiro: Yeah, by choosing to collectively expand the choices, that is a choice as well, to struggle for those choices, and not settle in the comfort zone of the choices you already have.

Happy: And I think the thing for me, I struggle around this conversation of choice is I don’t have – especially when it comes to lifestyle, is, I didn’t grow up with many choices. That wasn’t a thing that was there, so it was actually in my adult life and when I became more active in politics that I realised, oh- and I also lived in a different context, when there weren’t lifestyle choices to be made. So when I hear, especially Zohra, because she’s given me her water guilt. We can talk about that later, and stuff like that, or like the straws, and yeah, I should care about it, and then silence. So, I’m curious to hear, I really want to be in this conversation to see where that goes. So this conversation about choice, I have to say, in this context, leaves me a bit befuddled, confused. So I grew up in a space and in a context where we didn’t have much choice.


We had, for example, even when you walk into the supermarket you’d have, I think it was one washing detergent, and you’d have maybe two options of margarine and stuff like that. Of course, you have the option to walk into a supermarket where that’s a question around choice, and so I didn’t grow up with the idea that I could make choices around my lifestyle. And then when I became an adult and particularly when I became a lot more active politically, I met all these people who would say a lot of stuff, and from a headspace I agree, I understand the importance of being aware of the choices that I make around my lifestyle, what I buy, what I don’t buy, where I go, how I travel, etcetera. But at the same time, there’s still a part of me that – I get it from a headspace but it doesn’t resonate with my body so I’m left like – yeah, for example, I have been told a lot about water and I have Zohra’s water guilt, which I will tell you more about later, and so now when I turn on water, I turn it off, but it’s a learning that I’m doing and it still confuses me, I have choice over my lifestyle. But that’s my struggle, what do you all think?

Chihiro: Hmm. So I guess it’s typical for me to start the conversation with lack and the things that I don’t have because, I’m thinking of the group that I’m part of, Climate Liberation Bloc, and our slogan is ‘liberate lives, not limbs’. So, often time, you’ll see people struggling for women rights or less Co2 in the air or anti-war, and because we want to do cross-movement work of seeing all this anti-oppression work being connected through systems of oppression, we always focus on the parts that are not free yet.


So, maybe you have a limb, maybe you can choose about your nail polish, but if you don’t have your heart, or your brains, or your leg, it’s like, how can we liberate the whole package and not work in silos. So, yeah, I think- definitely when I think of my childhood, of choice, or lack of choice, I remember being very upset when the tree in front of our house was cut down, and remembering, I have no choice whatsoever over this and, what did that tree ever do to its community except for give us fresh air, give us shade, redistribute all sorts of nutrients in the soil for other little plants that made it through the concrete. And so I think I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with the choices that I feel like I don’t have, even though I have grown up here in The Netherlands with quite, you know, like even though we’re from a poor family, it’s an affluent lifestyle, just by virtue of having running tap water and a roof above your head, and school and all these types of things. So those are some of my first thoughts when I think about personal choice and how I stand in that conversation.

Zohra: I find this part of it really interesting because sometimes it feels like there’s different bubbles, right? So, in some bubbles it’s all about exercising choice and that’s the main means that people can exemplify the things that they want, right? How do I know this is important? Because I choose this and not that. And definitely I have groups of friends where it’s all about talking about, well you do a bunch of research before you buy a thing because you really want to make the best ethical choice and spending a lot of time and attention on that, but it’s total privilege, right?


What a luxury to be able to have a problem of multiple choices and the time to think about which one I will spend my money on in terms of the thing I’m going to buy next. And at the same time, we do need people to be active around that, right? We actually need people to be demanding different things, demanding different options and different choices, and that also takes time, to be able to think about, but hang on, why is this the only version of this instead another version of that that I could be asking for? And I read a thing recently around these tests now that you can do around tracking your carbon footprint and what are the choices I’m making that have the maximum carbon footprint and some of them are obvious, like airplane flying, for example, I do fly for Mama Cash, and others of it were things like refrigerators and I was just like, oh, now I need to worry about my refrigerator, right?


And it was some huge amount across the world of impact by all of our refrigerators, and it made such a big difference and it just hasn’t been in the conversations I’ve been in about this, so now I’m really stressed out about my refrigerator.

Happy: And what the two of you say from the idea of lack and also having all these choices before you makes me think, yeah, there’s the way that even participating in all these choices continues to enhance capitalism, because then capitalism will be like, oh so now people want green things, and no, they want real green things, and those are the new choices that we are getting and a lot of times these nice new green things cost a bit more than the other one, so.


Chihiro: And also, staying with the refrigerator example, so I would choose the clean energy refrigerator for being as much in line with my beliefs but then, when I throw it away, I have no say in if my country just exports all sorts of e-waste to Africa and dumps it there which has a huge practice in, for the longest time, of dumping all sorts of computers and e-waste and fridges in different countries in Africa where it’s leaking into the ground. And so, like, even if you have a choice in the consumption, you don’t have a choice in the production, and you don’t have a choice in the reduction of what happens with the waste afterwards, and that’s how you easily come into the topic of democracy, and how limited it is to our consumer choices, and not into shaping our society to be life-respecting, respecting of human life and respecting of environmental non-humans.

Happy: I wonder then, if there’s space for what, Zohra, you just said, there’s two things, right? There’s the individual choices and how you do all your research on it, but there’s also the organising to try and make us have different types of choices. And I don’t know if either one of you could talk a little bit about what is possible in that realm. Can we do a more kind of organising that is happening to have an impact around the production piece of it, and could we ever get to a point where we choose how production looks like, or we choose how reduction looks like? Because, yeah, that’s often legislated or ignored depending on the country and the context.


Chihiro: A dream project that I have just recently heard about is in Cooperation Jackson, in the States, where they’re working on re-commoning the supermarket and having vegetables where you just pick the tomatoes off the plant and you keep the plant intact, and you have the shelves with real life inside and having that community bay, so you take it off the market and you re-common it. So I think that’s cooperative economy and a different way of consumption.

Happy: And what is re-commoning?

Chihiro: Oh, so it would be to not put it in a market space for private profit, but to have it serve the community, whatever that means.



[musical interlude]


This podcast is made possible by Mama Cash. As an international fund for feminist activism, Mama Cash gives grants and other kinds of support to women, girls, trans people and intersex people who are collectively fighting for a more just and joyous world. For today’s episode, we got in touch with one of our grantee partners who are doing incredible work around the issue of climate justice.

Claudia: Hello, I’m Claudia Samcam from ‘Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres’, FCAM, the Central American Women’s Fund. We are a feminist fund dedicated to mobilise resources to support women’s organisations working towards the rights in Central America. In FCAM, we believe that there is an intrinsic link between feminism and environmental justice. In Latin America, there is a strong thinking around territories and the bodies of women that translates in an analysis on how the logic that exploits and violates women’s bodies is similar to the logic that exploits and violates our territories. Women, particularly at the grassroot levels, are fighting for life, are fighting to ensure a planet in which humankind not only survives but has all the possibilities to develop in balance with other species in the ecosystem. First, for FCAM, it is not possible to speak about the protection of the environment without connecting them to human rights, and therefore to women’s rights. And we have a concrete program focused on environmental issues that supports women organising in Central America to make visible their struggles, ensure they have a seat at the table, and their voices are heard in the policy development and the implementation.


And we make our best to connect environmental justice program with all of our programs. So, for example, supporting young women initiatives to organise themselves and participate more actively in the movement around climate justice, but also we believe that we are stronger when we work together, and that there is a contribution that FCAM can make to environmental justice organisations and groups in ensuring that they also have a focus on women and they understand the relevance of women and why women should be part of this conversation.

Happy: Do you want to learn more about our work, the work of our grantee partners, and how you can help support them too? Then please head over to On our website, you can also learn how to sign up for our newsletter and be the first to hear news and stories about feminist activism all around the world.

Zohra: So, let’s talk a little bit more about capitalism, climate change, feminism, all of our favourite topics, and thinking about green-washing and woke-washing, and the idea of consumer power. We are led to believe that where we choose to eat, shop, get our information, can make a real difference to the world. But does it really have an impact or is it more about fashioning an image of who we want to believe ourselves to be?


Chihiro: I just laugh thinking, who ever sold us this proposition to begin with? Who ever convinced us that we are consumers? I think the whole consumer power thing comes from a consumerism framework where, if you think you are a consumer, then either left or right, you are going to consume. That’s all the choice that you have, through consumption, whereas, if you retake your life, and you think of yourself as a human – human, as a word, comes from earth, so that would make us earthlings, then our scope of choice opens up to such a wide range of how we can choose to be on this earth and that would also imply things that we don’t need money for, like, you don’t need money to occupy or shut down infrastructure of fossil fuel industry, you need to be a big group, you need people and you need people power, people willpower. So yeah, with consumerism, I feel this innate thing, like however did we get to monetise our scale of choice? If you live of one dollar a day, how much do you choose with your consumer power? That’s ridiculous, you’re voting with your dimes, even if you’re a millionaire, you’re voting with your dimes against the trillions, the amount of fossil fuels that we need to keep in the ground requires us to pretty much burn 100 trillion dollars, that’s how much stranded acids it would require, so, wanting to do that, it takes political power, it takes political struggle. If you stay within a consumer bubble, you’re pretty much bringing yourself off topic to where you can really make a change, where your choices actually matter to achieve that change.


Zohra: What do you think, Happy?

Happy: First, my mind is… Pfshh.

Zohra: Pfshh.

Happy: Yeah, it’s like- what’s the word? I’m doing the action with my hands but you all can’t see that.

Zohra: Of mind blowing.

Happy: Mind blown. That’s the word. Because I love the idea of earthling and what stepping out of the thinking of ourselves as consumers, because that immediately limits the things that we can and can’t do. So I get that. At the same time, there’s a part of me that wonders how to- is it possible, no, I think it is- is it necessary to still hold both things? Because, for sure, there’s the need for us to exist outside the consumer frame and resist, build, imagine, create, like the idea of the supermarket where you literally pick the tomato from the tree and dig the potato from the soil, I want to live in that world and I’m not living in that world. So, in this world…

Chihiro: Where’s the bridge?


The incremental change.

Happy: I don’t know, like – you know, is it, burn it all down? And how do we do that? But at the same time, when we leave this recording, I’m going to go to the supermarket, and I’m going to buy my grapes from a plastic container, right? Like, that’s how the thing- that’s how life is constructed in this moment, right?

Chihiro: That’s the choices that you have been given at this moment.

Happy: Exactly, right? So is there a way of holding those two things and going back to the beginning of, for me, the contradictions of, sometimes contradictions are because of what I do and don’t do, sometimes contradictions are just built into the system. As long as I understand that the world operates in a different way I will see this contradiction because I’m not in a place right now where I can go to the- or, it costs me in other ways to go to the place where I can pick the grape from the tree.


Chihiro: Hmm…

Happy: So, I could, right? But I’d have to do many other things which still cost…

Chihiro: Well, here in The Netherlands, blackberries grow naturally, in bushes, but it’s illegal to pick them. So, you can risk a fine if you do something totally natural. So, yeah, it costs you something to exercise natural rights and I hear you. I also go to the supermarket. I live in a city. I think when it comes to consumer choices, I have conversations with friends but I try to always have them not from a point of shame because I think consumerism uses shame, weaponizes shame for upselling shit. Whereas, it’s more about accountability and externalising your own motivation into your behaviour. So, if I want to be a climate justice activist, how can I externalise that in the little things that I do in daily life? So, that’s like how I take care of my trash, or how I try to limit my trash, or not overuse things. I don’t fly for holidays, I only fly for projects, and then I have a minimum amount of time, or it has to be overseas, and I can’t just take the bus. I think that conversation can be around accountability, how do we hold ourselves and others accountable? But I think capitalism feasts on our shame and our personal shame, and our siloed, individuals that are assessing ourselves for being good or being bad. I just don’t want to give it the satisfaction. And I see some nodding, so I’m curious…


Zohra: Because that’s exactly where I was ending up. After you just spoke, Happy, I was thinking about how we police each other, and feminists can be quite good at that and this is the new way, right? This is the new way in which we can position ourselves and kind of check with each other like how down are you, how woke are you, what are you up to? How real are you? How invested are you in this thing we’re trying to do together? And it turns into that, it turns into, “Oh, I got my grapes here”, “Well actually, I went down the road and got them here”, “Oh, well I actually grew them last week on my very own”- or whatever, right? Like it just becomes this ridiculous situation and I was thinking about that, how we do that to each other because reasons. Because of all the reasons we fall into around just wanting to be seen to be doing the right thing, wanting to be doing the right thing, and then wanting to be seen to be doing the right thing, and what a distraction that is…

Chihiro and Happy: Hmmm…

Zohra: …from what we actually need to be doing. And so we spend so much of our energy and investment in trying to do the best we can – coming back to, again, what you said Chihiro, amongst such limited options, because all these other options are just not in the frame, they’re completely off the table, they’re not even in the same room. And so, we’re competing with each other to do the best we can within this very small room, and then there’s just the whole rest of the world outside of this room doing whatever it wants, that is actually undermining every good effort I make at not using a plastic straw.

Chihiro: Yeah. That makes me think of a talk I was at by Sonya Renee Taylor last week. She talks about ‘The Body Is Not an Apology’, and also about how there’s this whole new market of shaming and that they’ve noticed that now, self-esteem, selling you self-esteem, or selling you that good feeling, is just another way of shaming you, it’s an economic play, but they’re just selling it in a new package. So, they know that the old shame doesn’t work anymore, and now they have the green shame.


Just another flavour.


[musical interlude]


Happy: Welcome back. It’s time for our ‘Feminist Mishaps’, because, well, nobody’s perfect and we’re all human. So, Chihiro, when is the last time you did something that made you think, “Oh my god, I hope there aren’t any feminists watching right now because I’m going to get kicked out of this feminist club”.

Chihiro: Oh. Yeah. So, this weekend, only this weekend, Climate Liberation Bloc was organising a whole weekend of cross-movement building on racism, patriarchy, and climate politics, and how to do anti-oppression work. And in the beginning, we had, with the whole group, with the participants, I’m an organiser, this spectrum line of, ‘How long have you been in the climate movement? One day or 30 years?’ And you line up everybody, and I was totally on the most experienced side. And then, ‘How long have you been in racism and doing anti-racism work?’ I was lining up and, still, kind of on the side with most people, like most experienced people. And then, the question came, ‘How long have you been a feminist?’ And I was like, how long have I called myself a feminist? Because I start counting the moment, not that you show up for other people’s party action, but when do you start organising in it. And I was like, ah, maybe 2017, and I had to make that walk of shame all the way to the side of the beginners, because all of these participants were way longer in the struggle than I was and just, yeah, it was humbling. Let’s just call it that. Also, a little bit shameful.

Zohra: Thanks, Chihiro. We’ve all been there. Do you have a feminist uh-huh moment of your own, those of you listening? Send us your confessions, anonymously if you wish, and we may share it on a future episode. You can reach us on Twitter @mamacash or by email at


So we were talking a lot about consumption, green-washing, woke-washing, capitalism, all the ways that these things are really problematic, and yet, we’re trying to exercise choice within that and one of the things I wanted to talk about and have us think about was the way women are particularly targeted by companies through marketing to do things and buy things and consume things as women. Problems are generated for us that we then have to solve through the market. So, for example, body hair shaming. Right? We didn’t have a problem with body hair. Gillette created a problem of body hair on women’s legs, and then is selling us the razors that are going to help us solve our body hair problem, and these razors are plastic and disposable. And we could say the same thing about make-up. The entire make-up industry, right? What’s wrong with your face? There’s nothing wrong with your face, but you need to beautify it in very particular ways, right? Certain lipsticks, eye-shadows, now there’s- I don’t even know, a whole bunch of things that are very particular, right? This little gadget does this exact thing to your eyebrows that you probably need now because your eyebrows are the wrong shape, and then we buy it and, for sure, it’s disposable or has some kind of environmental impact. When you’re thinking of microbeads and all these sorts of things. Happy, you also have strong feelings about this?

Happy: Yeah, so a couple of episodes back, we talked about menstruation, and how patriarchy has put so much shame around women and menstruating and folks who bleed every month. And at the same time, now, especially when you’re talking about in activist circles, all the pressure to not use disposable pads and we first have to – not only do we have to deal with all our feelings and shame around bleeding every month, we have to deal with that – and we also have to figure out how to deal with the environmental impact of this thing that we now use to be able to continue to move around the world in the “proper ways of moving around the world”.


Like, ah, so I have feelings around that and it’s been constructed by patriarchy, how feelings around menstruation and then capitalism gives us a solution but actually tells us the solution is messing up the environment so now we need – oh my gosh, too many things. Or even with diapers. So, a lot of times it’s the people who’ve been gendered as female who are left with the responsibility of taking care of kids. So in the midst of trying to figure out how not to kill this child and feed them and whatnot, I need to figure out the right type of diaper and where to buy it and how to wash it and wash it in ways that I’m not using too much water or sending too much detergent into the ocean – but wait, my baby needs to eat. Okay, you get my frantic feelings. The way I’m talking about it is the way I feel inside around the way that we’ve been constructed by capitalism, patriarchy, heterosexism, racism, to be certain types of “proper bodies.” And then at the same time we have to consume certain things and, in this consumer frame that Chihiro said, we also have to be good consumers, or ethical consumers, and yeah, I just sit back, like, I can’t take this.

Chihiro: And I think that at the end, you know, then they’ll find a product for you to deal with your depression.


Happy: There you go.

Chihiro: So every step along the way, they’ll have you fall or stumble into a new problem that there will only be a market solution for and that is why I think it’s so important to take that big look. It’s good to be concrete, it’s good to see what are the concrete things that we are actually facing. But why is that so?


And why is that so that, already for centuries, there’s been an ideology that is cheapening life? It’s cheapening life of nature, it’s cheapening life of all the people of the world that have been considered nature and that was women, that was indigenous people, that was people of colour for the longest time. And on the one hand, cheapening life and on the other side, making life more expensive for the humans that are called society. So that’s this huge contradiction that is creating this huge rift of forever being more torn, and the more torn you are, you are sold a pill to fix yourself because it can’t be the system. And finally, what you mentioned also with the diapers – time is also kind of weaponised against us because we have to be more and more productive for unpaid labour, and then we choose some choices that are on the table that are less time consuming, right? So the quickest fix. And we’re not in charge of the production line of that. Yeah, I think then you just run into a whole shit-show of toxic choices.

Zohra: So Chihiro, we have you here as our guest and we look to you…


Chihiro: For all the answers of the earthlings.

Happy: Exactly.

Zohra: But to tell us a little about the activism you are involved with, and what you’ve been up to try to square some of these difficult dilemmas and advance a different way of thinking through collective organising, right? Trying to get different choices onto the table, trying to think about these things differently. Tell us more.


Chihiro: Yeah, thank you for asking. So, Climate Liberation Bloc came from individuals in the climate movement who felt constrained with only talking about carbon up in the air and emissions going down, because so much of climate politics – and I would stress here – the politics is the problem, not the climate. We don’t have a climate to save, we have politics to change. So, so much of the climate movement was obsessed with the science, but being a person of colour, I’m sceptical towards science and science that has called people of colour inferior or whatever, so I united with a bunch of other activists who shared the need to become more intersectional and make cross-movement alliances to do anti-oppression work, and basically say, “We need to be decolonial, we need to be political, because apolitical doesn’t get us free.” And the way we do that is, we started with making very basic interventions in protest by making different types of banners and not just saying, “Hey, save Earth because we’re the only planet with chocolate”, which you see in climate protests, unfortunately, but having banners that says, “Climate doesn’t do colonisation, people do, fix people first” or “Climate doesn’t do border, people do, fix people first”. And then we make more and more interventions within institutions, so NGOs, but also grassroot organisations by giving trainings on the intersections of climate and class, climate and race, climate and gender, and get these topics on the table because they inform our actions, our collective actions.


People think of activists, usually as people with a banner and spare time to walk through the street, but an activist is a person working towards collective change without the money or the guns, because those are institutionalised in our army and in our government, or in our corporate being. So looking at how to get active and collective from the grassroots to push for things that actually give back parts of our lives as earthlings, as beings, and as indigenous organiser Winona LaDuke often says, it’s about improving all of our relations. So understanding that activism isn’t just about doing, but it’s about improving your relations. So your anti-oppression work is also about detoxifying your movements and the racism that lives inside of our movements to be effective. That’s the big strokes, and then concretely what we’re doing is now, this year specifically, more on climate and racism, getting that on the agenda. So if you talk to me about what are the solutions, then we need to start talking about climate reparations and we need to start talking about our borders and how ridiculous they are, and then we need to start talking about decision-making models and getting that – reclaiming decision from the grassroots. So we have choi- real choices based in the communities. So if you see ejidos in the common lands in Mexico, what have been fought over for a long time – getting those choices back into community, giving more rights also to nature, to rivers, to mountains, to exist, and exist free of pollution. That is the work that we’re laying the foundations for.


Zohra: That sounds amazing. I was actually just thinking, very recently, about the stories that get privileged, right? The faces of the climate crisis that get put in front of us, to mobilise us to feel like, “Oh no, this is serious,” whose voices we are listening to right now, who are persuasive voices, compelling voices, I believe in what they’re saying –

Happy: The voices that shape the problem.

Zohra: Yes, and yet they are following a long line of other voices that we have systematically ignored and deliberately silenced, and people who have named the problem in different ways and who articulate different kinds of options, and we don’t get to hear from them because of how things are going now. And very recently, there were things like, you know, we’re watching the ice caps melt and there’s these polar bears, these lone polar bears stranded on ice caps and things like this. Meanwhile, there are also people getting submerged in different parts of the world, but we don’t have those images, we have the polar bear.

Chihiro: Yeah, when you talk about Extinction Rebellion being a new phenomena, and being white and UK-drive when there have been people around the world fighting against extinction and rebelling against extinction for centuries, I think it’s clear where the intelligence lies for survival and resilience mechanisms and it’s not a coincidence that 80% of biodiversity is on the land of indigenous people.


There’s so much wisdom, not just about nature, but about intergenerational trauma processing and the intergenerational wisdom that then goes into how to heal the fragmented, because right now our whole earth is fragmented, it’s so broken, so much has been depleted, so much has been polluted, so much disrespect has been paid, so thinking about, also, how to heal ourselves. I think that’s in the communities that have lived environmental deprivation, land-grabbing, water-theft, this is where the real leadership is found. And I love Greta, and I love what she’s doing, but there’s a reason why Greta is known and Autumn Peltier, in Canada, a 13-year-old that was addressing the UN already years ago, water-protector, is not known. And that’s power, and white saviourism, and who gets platform. So definitely, I think if there’s always these lists of three easy things to do, I think we need a list of three hard things to do. And it would start with getting active and collective to shut down fossil fuel industry because we can’t afford to keep burning anything, and then read your heroes. Listen to Jacqui Patterson, who’s been working all her life. Listen to Lidy Nacpil, listen to Winona LaDuke, who I mentioned earlier. There’s so many inspiring women from all over the world that are not at the centre of framing our environmental crisis but have beautiful wisdom.

Happy: And what’s the third thing?


Chihiro: Oh, yeah, the third thing. The third thing… I would say, this is where we get back to the body, and the brokenness inside ourselves, and the way we’ve internalised a lot of the oppression. So I think there’s a lot of healing work, or support and recovery work that we need to do within our own movements or societies or communities that is more like, again coming back to Sonya Renee Taylor, if it doesn’t live in the body, we simply don’t have the tools to bring it out. So that is that very personal work in our bodies and in our community.


[musical interlude]


Happy: Thank you so much, Chihiro, for joining us. It has been, for me, I hope also for you listeners, an amazing and mind-blowing conversation. Thanks for taking time, thanks for sharing your ideas, your energy, your heart with us. It has been an honour. I’ve definitely enjoyed it. And, Chihiro, where can we learn more about the amazing work that the Climate Liberation Bloc is doing?

Chihiro: Please come and check us out on Facebook, that’s where we post our events, or post our thoughts, and it would be lovely to continue our conversation there.

Zohra: Amazing. Thanks everyone for listening, once again. You can find Mama Cash on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or online at, and you can find ‘Tea with Mama Cash’ on Soundcloud, Apple Podcast, and Stitcher.

Happy: And if you’re listening to this right now, you’re hearing these words, we want to hear from you. It would be really lovely if you took a moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We want to hear what you think. What are things that you’d love us to do more of, or less of, or new things? It doesn’t have to be really long or eloquent, just a few words about why you listen to this podcast, what you think of it, and this would really help us to reach more listeners. So if you think more people would listen to this and enjoy listening to the podcast, please, always let us know. And you can always reach us with questions, feedback or ideas at tea, that’s T-E-A, And we’re your hosts…

Zohra: Zohra Moosa.

Happy: And Happy Mwende Kinyili.

Both: Signing off until the next time!


[end credits and closing music]

Happy: This podcast was produced by Amanda Gigler, Majk Mirkovic, and Sophia Seawell, our colleagues at Mama Cash.