Published in


On placemaking, true diversity and intercontinental cross-pollination — a conversation with Ridhi D’Cruz

Photo: Kiran Jonnalagadda

There are geopolitical forces at play that make different types of knowledge weighted unequally. I would say that the established order in the sustainability movement feels very white-centric, middle class, academic.

You said you wouldn’t expect it from the permaculture movement. But how can it be any different? Despite our efforts to dismantle these systems of oppression, we must not forget that we are embedded within them.

Photo from Ridhi’s archive.

I feel like there’s sometimes too many functions are being stacked and that over-integration is a real thing: we are diluting and homogenizing and therefore replicating the dominant paradigm in a way.

I met a shepherd once who just blew my mind. We were talking about metaphysical things, the cosmos, the purpose of life and I was astounded: “Wow, you think about these things?” And he said: “Yep, I’ve got a lot of time, I’m a shepherd.”

The City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon. Photo from Ridhi’s archive.

I feel like if we had an ability to root in places deeper and cultivate a meaningful conversation not just with the land but with each other — without being scared to show some vulnerability — I think many problems on the surface would kind of melt away.

I’ve been doing this for 10 years so they know it’s not a phase I’m going to grow out of. And it’s really important for me to bring them along because they are true inspirers of this whole path that I’m walking.



Design strategies, case studies, how-to, and commentary from women who love the Earth, Brought to you by Heather Jo Flores and

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Gosia Rokicka

Storyteller // IG: @gosiawrites @polishstories // Etsy: GosiaWrites