chapter  10
16 Pages

Precarious commons

An urban garden for uncertain times
WithElke Krasny

This chapter seeks to understanding better the idea and practice of a precarious commons. It focuses on Becoming Garden, one example of such a commons in Southern Italy that plants seeds of hope in the cracks of a stigmatized, poverty-ridden, austerity-struck, ruinous welfare state infrastructure. Challenging monolithic narrations of neoliberalism’s hegemony, practices of the commons raise awareness for diverse temporalities, solidarities, and modes of existence with diverse ecologies and diverse economies. The commons are, as is by widely accepted, in peril because of capital-driven environmental exhaustion, raging extractivism, and neoliberal governance. Critical scholarship across a wide range of disciplines including social sciences, governance studies, environmental studies, history and theory of labour, political theory, and philosophy have developed a robust body of work on the commons. The commons are produced and have to be reproduced. Silvia Federici, feminist Marxist activist, writer and thinker, has since the 1970s been influential to the analysis of reproduction under capitalism.