David E. Gilbert, "Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land: A Social Movement Ethnography" (U California Press, 2024)


Two decades ago, a group of Indonesian agricultural workers began occupying the agribusiness plantation near their homes. In the years since, members of this remarkable movement have reclaimed collective control of their land and cultivated diverse agricultural forests on it, repairing the damage done over nearly a century of abuse. Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land: A Social Movement Ethnography (U California Press, 2024) is their story. David E. Gilbert offers an account of the ways these workers-turned-activists mobilized to move beyond industrial agriculture's exploitation of workers and the environment, illustrating how emancipatory and ecologically attuned ways of living with land are possible. At a time when capitalism has remade landscapes and reordered society, the Casiavera reclaiming movement stands as an inspiring example of what struggles for social and environmental justice can achieve.

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Stephen Pimpare

Stephen Pimpare is Professor of Public Policy at Vermont Law and Graduate School.

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