The way one relates to land, water, and other so-called natural resources is reflected in the way goods, relations, and affinities are produced. Degrowth is about the physical limits to growth: infinite growth on a finite planet is just not possible.
I first met with the concept of “sacrifice zones” – areas that have been irreparably damaged by pollution or economic exploitation when doing my research on Silvia Federici and ecologies of care. Remembering the devastation caused by the ecological catastrophe of Odra River pollution in 2022, I recreated some sacrifice zones on a miniature scale, watering plants with water from the river itself, taken daily. As a growth ground for planting seeds, I used old toys, trash and broken mechanismus found on the river shore.
By subjecting the seeds to harsh conditions, I simulated the impact of environmental degradation. Odra River, source of water for those germs, is on the doorstep, along it I walk daily. The water from this polluted river, soaks to the garden plot I grow vegetables. Odra was devastated by the catastrophic pollution, killing 3,3 millions of fish and other aquatic species, on the scale undocumented before in this part of Europe.
Despite all this, some seeds germinated and grew, although in a distorted manner. Regeneration, the ability to recover from the damage is one of the qualities of ecosystems. It is also one of the goals of therapy, the acceptance of our wounds and scars. It is about sacrified places where the growth is protected, kept in the greenhouses and cared and mimed and about the sacrifice zones in us left for abandonment and slow destruction.
Life is resilient, right?