From Capitalist Patriarchy to Ecological Feminism

La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
22500 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS.
Nov. 16-18, 2018


Inspired by the philosophy of radical ecofeminist Dr. Vandana Shiva, this weekend will focus on fostering the culture of life in a practical way through discussions centered on local economies, Earth Democracy, and food sovereignty. Dr. Shiva describes Earth Democracy as a non-violent response to a war that threatens to destroy us all, even the “victors.” At the heart of this response is Shakti, the active, divine feminine energy that creates and renews the universe. Shiva claims that this energy is needed in our society today to bring forth sustainable and regenerative livelihoods. Such livelihoods create the hope for a culture that rejuvenates the Earth and her gifts to us while creating autonomous and decentralized local communities that will reverse the destructive path of patriarchal, linear thought. In line with Gandhi’s philosophy of Sarvodaya, Earth Democracy calls for universal liberation through our limitless creative potential to create local, people-centered communities which balance the feminine and masculine in order to bring about justice and peace.

The program will be held at La Terre Institute, on 87 wooded acres on Bayou La Terre, near Dedeaux, Mississippi. It is 67 miles/70 minutes from the center of New Orleans. Participants should bring food, tents for camping, personal items and flashlights. We will contribute some food for group meals and have some room for participants in the house and cabin. There is no fee for the program, but any donations are welcome to help defray costs of programs and facilities. Participants are also invited to volunteer later for trail work, building and other projects, for program planning and publicity, and to teach, coteach or facilitate future programs. Please email for further information.

(The main program starts at Noon Saturday, but all are invited to the Shakti Fire Celebration and Morning Yoga preceding the program.)

Friday Evening

6:00 Arrival & Orientation. Please arrive by 6:00 for orientation concerning the land and La Terre Institute.

7:00 Shakti Fire Celebration. Each person is asked to bring and share their favorite text, poem, song, or something of their own relevant to Shakti Energy, the rejuvenation of Mother Earth, the Divine Feminine, the culture of life, or the overcoming of patriarchy.


9:00 Morning Yoga. Led by Victoria Nachman at Mesopotamia Gathering Circle.

Noon Arrival & Orientation. Please arrive by Noon for orientation concerning the land, La Terre Institute, and the program for this weekend.

1-2:30 An Introduction to Shaki and Ecofeminism. An open discussion gently led by Anna Miller, who recently spent several months as an intern (bijak) at Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya Biodiversity Farm and Seed Bank ( We will dive deeply into the ideas of Dr. Shiva. We will search for practical and applicable answers to questions like: What does the culture of life mean given our current system? How can we build spaces that allow for interpersonal and interdependent bonds within communities? How can we radically shift our lives to foster a truly sustainable and regenerative existence? How can we create practical alternatives that would heal the wounds of the current system of destruction and ultimately end it?

2:45-4:15 Paths Beyond Global Social and Ecological Crisis. Led by John Clark. We will discuss the significance of the fact that we are in the Necrocene (the Sixth Mass Extinction of life on Earth) and are facing the developing climate catastrophe and the transgression of other major “planetary boundaries.” We will consider the need for a new, regenerative mode of human existence that we might call “being-toward-life,” “being-toward-birth,” and, perhaps “Shakti energy.”

4:30-5:30 Eco-Agriculture Participant Mobilization. Led by Graham Murphy, with Monica Clark. We will discuss how to approach laying the organic and non-organic groundwork for a permaculture/regenerative agriculture community at Bayou La Terre.

5:45-6:30 Food Prep and Food Sovereignty Lesson. A group presentation. Where does our food really come from? Who is in control of what we put in our bodies? How can we get to know the source of our food?

6:30-8:00 Group Potluck Dinner. We will share the food that we brought and prepared as a group.

8:00-10:15 How to Let Go of the World and Love All Things Climate Can’t Change. Josh Fox’s documentary will be shown, followed by discussion.


9:00 Morning Yoga. Led by Victoria Nachman at Mesopotamia Gathering Circle.

10:30-11:30 Positive Models of Social and Ecological Integrity: Sarvodaya, Chiapas, Rojava. Led by John Clark. A continuation of yesterday afternoon’s discussion.

11:30-12:30 Growing Food and Restablizing Our Inner Dignity, Sovereignty and Freedom.  Monica Clark, author of Mentor the Garden Mentor and host of “Dig This!” will share 5-10 reasons why reclaiming our food system is the most revolutionary act of peace we can perform.”  Seed giveaway and planting included.

2:00-4:30 Plant Walk. Leisurely hike around the land identifying and foraging for edible wild plants. Also hike to the Ancient Cypress Gathering Circle and creek walk.

5:00 Departure

Essential Information for Participants and Visitors

Directions to La Terre Institute