Deathworlds to Lifeworlds

Collaboration with Strangers for Personal, Social and Ecological Transformation
Valerie Malhotra Bentz and James Marlatt

Deathworlds are places on planet earth that can no longer sustain life. These are increasing rapidly. We experience remnants of Deathworlds within our Lifeworlds (for example traumatic echoes of war, genocide, oppression). Many practices and policies, directly or indirectly, are Deathworld-Making. They undermine Lifeworlds contributing to community decline, illnesses, climate change, and species extinction. This book highlights the ways in which writing about and sharing meaningful experiences may lead to social and environmental justice practices, decreasing Deathworld-Making. Phenomenology is a method which reveals the connection between personal suffering and the suffering of the planet earth and all its creatures. Sharing can lead to collaborative relationships among strangers for social and environmental justice across barriers of culture, politics, and language.

Deathworlds into Lifeworlds wakes people up to how current economic and social forces are destroying life and communities on our planet, as I have mapped in my work. The chapters by scholars around the world in this powerful book testify to the pervasive consequences of the proliferation of Deathworld-making and ways that collaboration across cultures can help move us forward.