“Activate a dialogic process to ensure a sustainable ecological transition”

Located a few kilometres from the city of León, La Sobarriba consists of 20 villages and two groups of houses that are part of the municipality of Valdefresno. The Camino de Santiago passes through this arid landscape of gentle hills, located between the Porma, Bernesga and Torío rivers. It was here that the Narrativas Solares emerged in response to desire of some local residents to draw attention to the eco-social and personal and emotional issues and contradictions that came up when a mega solar power plant was set up in the region.

Many of these residents have been fighting through eco-social activism, academia, and the defense of rural areas for many years, but although this solar power plant is supposedly a great step towards decarbonization, many of them see it as a take-over of their ecological narratives by the energy corporations.

These locals, who are starting to self-organize as the Platform in Defense of La Sobarriba, believe that accepting such a large-scale extractive project in this region means repeating an energy colonization model that has already been implemented many times in the province of León: the Riaño reservoir, the underground and open-cast mines in the valleys of Laciana and El Bierzo, and the thermal power plant in La Robla.

This Concomitancia will thus activate a process of dialogue with the local area and the ecosystem in order to find ways to minimize the effects on the habitats and the landscape that they all enjoy on their walks, to ensure that farmers do not feel that they are being pushed off the land that is their livelihood, and that the impact on hunting activity is low so that their homes depreciate as little as possible.

In order to establish this dialogue with the rest of society, they believe that it is important for them to be understood in the full complexity of their thinking and their place in the world. From the perspective the slow, dense, seasonal, care-centered times that still endure despite the insistence on the present imposed by the tyranny of immediacy, speed, and brevity. And of pausing to look and to look at ourselves. To perceive everything that is already in progress and heal what needs to be healed through a network of support and protection.

In this healing, they would like to narrate themselves from human and non-human perspectives: those of the people, the places, the buildings, the stories, the village squares, supplies and liturgies. All the elements of the so-called “territory”, which is often homogenized and turned into a landscape, stripped of its singularity.

Recreating and re-imagining the story of life as celebration, with all its contradictions, in rural areas like La Sobarriba. Combining doing and thinking, science and the magical, using the senses and emotions as tools that allow us to observe reality and also to describe and redesign these new narratives.

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