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We, as the people who live in Anthropocene, are confronted with an uncertain and unknown future. By now, we know that following the conventional paths will only worsen the crisis that we are facing. We know that continuing to do ‘business as usual’ will only bring us more close to the edge of extinction. And we know that if we don’t act now, at this very moment, we will no longer have a place that we call home. We need to accept that the world will be changing around us and we need to start responding and adjusting to this change.
During the summer of 2021, we have again witnessed wild fires that were caused by human-made changes in the climate. Many countries in the Mediterranean, including my home country Turkey, suffered from immense damage due to hundreds of forest fires and record-breaking heatwaves. During this devastating period, hundreds of forests were burnt down, animals and people have died, and people were displaced. They have lost their loved ones, and they have lost their homes. The suffering and desperation grew further as people faced the corrupted states’ inability to act on time, provide aid and heal the damage. The crises hit the most vulnerable groups in these countries while corrupted nation states continued to express insincere concerns and do nothing about it.
In Sweden, many are fooled by the forests that are growing around us. We are surrounded by human-made, mono-cultured forests, which is not nature. Nature has its own course. Its own biological diversity, its own rhythm and its own rules. When we remove all natural forest fragments, one by one, fill them up with profit-oriented species, we disrespect the forest’s natural course and create green-looking wastelands. It is a colonial act to intervene and alter forests for our own sake.
De-colonising the nature requires decolonised minds. Forests do not belong to us. We exist along with the forests. Forests don’t owe us anything. We have an inter-dependant relation with all the other living creatures. More-than-human communities are a crucial part of biological diversity and we need to acknowledge this now in order to act. We need to seek for possible worlds and ways of living with human and non-human others with a generous and creative spirit. We need to push back the governments, transnational companies and venture capitalists who are creating massive damage to our home. They have literally been playing with fire and now we are burning because of them. We need to make major shifts in our ways of co-existing with others and we need to act on it now. The future is unknown, but we have the power to reproduce new and better ways of living. We have the power to take care of each other and heal the burnt wounds with love, care, sympathy and respect to the more-than-humans. Power to the people!