Mary Galvin

Apr 082013

While five heads of states of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) met in Durban last week for the developing nations’ summit, civil society organisations gathered as “brics-from-below” under the banner of “Watching and challenging power!”. Through a week of intensive sessions, mass meetings, and protests, they shared experiences and networked around issues. […]

Feb 142013

Naivasha, Kenya is “a boom town built on a new gold rush: cut flowers”, according to UK Garden Museum Director Christopher Woodward. This week the London Telegraph reported on Woodward’s observations from his recent trip to Kenya: “As you read this, 25,000 workers are picking roses for Valentine’s Day bouquets thousands of miles away.” He […]

Dec 142012

Just about everyone in South Africa wants a flush toilet.  So why do municipalities still build dry toilets for poor families, perpetuating protests about toilet apartheid?
The simple answer is that flush toilets need a constant supply for water for flushing, and in many parts of South Africa municipalities are still struggling to provide a basic […]


The history of South Africa is based on extraction of natural resources and the related dispossession of its population (often referred to as “accumulation by dispossession”). While this is a history that new leaders are trying to move past, we are continually reminded of its central role in our lives. Over the […]


Fracking conjures up early discussions of biofuels—an apparent answer to our energy ills, only the impact on the world’s food resources has shown that it is not that simple. In other words, in attempting to respond to one set of problems, it adds another set. So, while fracking could mean a cheaper, reliable […]

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