The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Vol Wangari Maathais

Wangari Maathai was a scholar, writer, environmental activist, human rights champion, and Nobel Prize laureatte. In her life and thought, she tenaciously sought to expose the precarious lives of people across a variety of communities: women, rural communities, political prisoners, Kenyans, Africans, and citizens of the global South saddled with the burdens of international debt.

She is without doubt a worthy subject for the latest addition to the Voices of Liberation series, published by the HSRC Press. Wangari Maathai’s registers of freedom explores the multiple legacies of her life and offers readers a glimpse into the life and thought of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable woman.

The Voices of Liberation series ensures that the debates and values that shaped the liberation movement are not lost. By providing access to the thoughts and original texts written by

or about some of the many men and women who fought for the dismantling of apartheid, colonialism and the capitalist legacy, this series invites the contemporary reader to engage directly with the rich history of the struggle for democracy. The source texts written by the eponymous subject are framed in an analytical lens that provides context and relevance for the modern reader. The title of the series speaks to its purpose, which is not only to make a particular voice resonate through a collection of original writings but to strengthen the ‘voices’ from the South and, in particular, from Africa.

Product information

Format : 210mm x 148mm
Pages : 352
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2574-9
Publish Year : November 2019

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations and acronyms

Timeline of the life of Wangari Maathai

Part 1 Her life

Introduction

Early life: Under the mugumo tree

The National Council of Women of Kenya

Electoral politics

Countering colonial cultures of nature

Green Belt Movement

Defending Uhuru Park and Karura Forest

Release Political Prisoners

Parliament and beyond

Nobel Peace Prize, 2004

Conclusion: Planting sustainable futures

Part 2 Her voice: Selected writings of Wangari Maathai

Beginnings

Foresters without Diplomas

The Power of the Tree

The Commitment to Service

Environment and Development

References

Nobel Prize Speech

Rise up and Walk! The Third Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, 19 July 2005

Moving the Social Machine

Part 3 Her legacy

Can the Earth Be Belted?

Bron Tyler

Kenya’s Green Belt Movement

Bron Tyler

Slow Violence, Gender and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Rob Nixon

Stranger in the Ecovillage: Race, Tourism and Environmental Time

Rob Nixon

Wangari Maathai Was Not a Good Woman

Nanjala Nyabola

Conclusion

Grace A Musila

Select bibliography

About the editor

Index

Grace A Musila is an associate professor at the Department of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is the author of A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder (James Currey/Boydell & Brewer, 2015); which explores Kenyan and British interpretations of the 1988 murder of British tourist Julie Ann Ward in Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. She also co-edited Rethinking Eastern African Intellectual Landscapes (Africa World Press, 2012) with James Ogude and Dina Ligaga. She writes on East and Southern African literatures and popular culture with a keen interest on how gender inflects both lived experience and knowledge production in Africa. In this regard, Wangari Maathai is a figure of great interest for Musila, owing to her rich life and thoughts on the intersections between gender, natural resources and state power in Africa, and how they determine the scope of freedom available to women, children and vulnerable communities.

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