The 2023 Holberg Lecture: 'Land, Water, Air and Freedom'

Mapping geographies of resistance at the frontiers of commodity extraction and waste disposal in a world counter-movement for environmental justice. Lecture by the 2023 Holberg Laureate, Joan Martinez-Alier.

As the industrial economy grows, there is also growth and changes in the Social Metabolism. The economy is not circular, it is entropic. There are thousands of “ecological distribution conflicts” at the frontiers of commodity extractions and waste disposal. Their protagonists display many different valuation languages and repertoires of action. “Land, Water, Air and Freedom” seems a good slogan and also a short description of the aims of the world movements for environmental justice.

The event is open to all.


Portrait Joan Martinez-Alier
Photo: Joan Vidal

Joan Martinez-Alier is professor emeritus at the Environmental Science and Technology Institute of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). He is also professor emeritus at Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO), Quito. His research focuses on ecological economics, political ecology, agrarian studies, environmental justice, and the environmentalism of the poor and the indigenous. In 2016 he was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant for the project EnvJustice (A global environmental justice movement), 2016-21. Martinez-Alier is also a co-founder of the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice (EJAtlas).  Based on the EJAtlas, Martinez-Alier will publish the volume Land, Water, Air and Freedom: The Making of World Movements for Environmental Justice in 2023. The book will analyse hundreds of “ecological distribution conflicts” and the “valuation languages” displayed by poor and indigenous activists. In 2020, Martinez-Alier was awarded the Balzan prize, and in 2023 the Holberg prize.

This event is a part of the Holberg Week, which this year takes place 6 - 12 June.


to 15:00, CEST.

08:00 AM to 09:00 AM, EDT

The University Aula in Bergen
Practical information
Open admittance