trentbrownTrent Brown

All articles by trentbrown

 

Trump as Opportunity: The Galvanising Effect of Climate Change Urgency

Donald Trump lives with the delusion that climate change is a ‘hoax’ – and he wants to impose that delusion on all of us. The world literally cannot afford four years of this madness. On almost every other issue, the shifts to the right of the past four decades could, theoretically, be undone. They have
Continue reading...  

Revitalising Food Systems on the Far South Coast

  My cousins grew up in Moruya. When we were kids, during the school holidays, my brother, my mum and I would make the drive down from Wollongong to see them, along the South Coast. We had great times together in beautiful surroundings. From the clear beaches and rivers to the rolling mountains around Araluen,
Continue reading...  

Buddhism and Agriculture III: Fukuoka, Natural Farming and the Developing World

In his later life, Masanobu Fukuoka became very concerned with using natural farming to solve real-world problems. This was reflected in the progression of ideas in his writings. In his first book, The One-Straw Revolution, Fukuoka (1978/2009) outlined the philosophy and practice of natural farming. In his final book, Sowing Seeds in the Desert (Fukuoka,
Continue reading...  

Buddhism and Agriculture II: Hope and Despair on Fukuoka Farm, Iyo.

My friend Shinya Ishizaka and I drove up the driveway of a small warehouse just outside of the town of Iyo, in Shikoku, Japan. The morning sun shone through the leaves of the pine trees in the garden and illuminated gold the web of an orb spider cast above the door. We were meeting with
Continue reading...  

Buddhism and Agriculture I: The Philosophy of Masanobu Fukuoka

Masunobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) was a Japanese farmer and philosopher, who pioneered a school of farming referred to as ‘natural farming’ or ‘do-nothing farming.’ Fukuoka’s methodology entailed minimal human interference in the agricultural process, instead creating conditions in which natural processes, left to their own accord, maximise crop outputs. Fukuoka became highly prominent within the global
Continue reading...  

Is Sustainability an Empty Signifier?

In 2008, I wrote my Honours thesis on the topic of sustainability. Drawing on the ideas of Antonio Gramsci and Ernesto Laclau, I developed the idea that sustainability could be thought of as an ‘empty signifier.’ After hammering out the details intermittently in the years that followed, I had my ideas on this topic published
Continue reading...  

Is Transformative Research Possible?

Sometimes an interview doesn’t go to plan – and that can be a good thing. I met with Dr. Lalit Pande in Almora a few months ago, in order (I thought) to ask some questions about a research project that I wanted to start. Instead, he ended up asking me a series of very difficult
Continue reading...  

Auroville: the People and the Plan

Auroville is a large intentional community, near Pondicherry in Southern India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfasa, popularly known in the community as simply “the Mother.” A devotee of Sri Aurobindo and a spiritual visionary in her own right, the Mother established Auroville as a community in which the ideals of human unity
Continue reading...  

Bangladesh: The Politics of Formlessness

It was quiet on Rajshahi University campus: its wide open fields were occupied by only scattered lovers and some local dogs on patrol, their barking occasionally breaking the pervasive silence. A district level hartal (strike) had been in force for the past twenty days. No classes were running. Nor were there any cars on the
Continue reading...  

The Gandhian Legacy in Tehri-Garhwal

In early 2014, I revisited the village of Rampur in Tehri-Garwal, where I had conducted research for my PhD. Tehri-Garwal had once been home to a number of prominent Gandhian collectives and activists, including, most prominently, Sunderlal Bahuguna. It was also a major site of the ‘Chipko’ agitations in the 1970s, in which local people
Continue reading...