Formando Rutas/Shaping Pathways
Formando Rutas is an educational project regarding the extraction of lithium in the Atacama Desert, the responsibility of the car industry, and the solutions beyond the individual electro-mobility. The objective of the project is to build a foundation for critical thinking of the hegemonic narratives and knowledges of the so-called Just Transition.
It consists of 10 short videos where communities, activists, scientists, trade unions, and urban development experts are interviewed. Each vision shows us the complexity of the problem, but one thing is clear: those who brought the climate and urban chaos are not the ones who will save us from this crisis.
The waters of the rivers that feed the Salar de Atacama are depleted after decades of intense mineral exploitation, which has contributed to the decline of agricultural activities and small-scale ancestral livestock farming that has developed for centuries in the territory. What does it mean to lose a culture and several peoples?
The Grays of Lithium
The communities say that green mining does not exist, that it is an oxymoron, but they recognise that in economic terms, mining is far more attractive than agriculture. This creates understandable contradictions within the communities as a result of the dependence that is generated.
For decades, the Chilean state has abandoned the Atacama mining towns at the mercy of extractivist companies, who take advantage by providing neoliberal social services. Meanwhile, the price of supposedly greener livelihoods in the Global North is being paid by the territories and communities of the Global South, as in the case of electric cars.
Revaluing practices and knowledge
Female scientists in the region say that although the Chilean state has not been able to generate independent research, anyone can generate knowledge. It is essential, however, that academia raises its voice even more in defense of nature and that indigenous knowledge is revalued.
Tesla & Co, an Industry without Future
The automotive industry as it exists today will not have a future as the companies in the supply chain do not fulfil their due diligence obligations. The case of Tesla in Brandenburg shows how environmental standards and the opinions of the inhabitants have not been respected.
The collective idea of the unions is to improve working and living conditions not only at the local level but also through international solidarity against anti-union practices by extractive companies. It is not only to take to the streets but to organise in these structures.
In order to have a Just Mobility, we must see the automobile as a monoculture that has been imposed on the modes of transportation. The electric car does not escape from this conception, so it is necessary to revive and enrich other ways of moving.
A Democratic Question
The number of cars is increasing in cities that are also growing demographically. Highways are taking away space for housing, street markets, cyclists, and pedestrians. Rethinking the electric car as a solution to the climate crisis is imperative.