Feel the Grass Grow: Ecologies of Slow Peace in Colombia
Stanford University Press, 2023
In the words of the campesino organizers, "peace is not signed, peace is built."
Drawing on nearly a decade of extensive ethnographic and participatory research, Angela Jill Lederach advances a theory of "slow peace." Slowing down does not negate the urgency that animates the defense of territory in the context of the interlocking processes of political and environmental violence that persist in post-accord Colombia. Instead, Lederach shows how the campesino call to "slowness" recenters grassroots practices of peace, grounded in multigenerational struggles for territorial liberation. In examining the various layers of meaning embedded within campesino theories of "the times (los tiempos)," this book directs analytic attention to the holistic understanding of peacebuilding found among campesino social leaders. Their experiences of peacebuilding shape an understanding of time as embodied, affective, and emplaced. The call to slow peace gives primacy to the everyday, where relationships are deepened, ancestral memories reclaimed, and ecologies regenerated.