Gillian Burke on Wangari Maathai – “Eco”

Gillian Burke for Open the Door 2020

By Gillian Burke

ENVIRONMENTALISM is a movement tied up in multiple knots of complicated science, a shared concern for our shared home. The word ‘eco’ has become so overused that it’s almost lost its meaning.

Wangari Maathai Eco is derived from the Greek word ‘oikos’ which simply means home. Home. The most beautiful word I know. Like so many of us I’m a long way from my childhood home and for me the word, this word sparks a deep longing. For others it might be the feeling of somewhere for familiar, safe, a retreat, or maybe somewhere to run from.

Home will mean different things to
different people but, taking a leaf out of Professor Maathai’s book of environmentalism, maybe we should take this time to think about this word and concepts of ‘home’.

Maybe we should take this time to think about this word, and concepts of ‘home’.

Maybe what we NEED is to make sure that home, in every sense of the word, is somewhere that supports and empowers and protects.

It’s been such a pleasure to give these snapshots of my childhood hero, what her work means to me, and what it might mean for all of us.

Thank you to the Glasgow Women’s Library for allowing me to do this takeover.

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Find out more about Wangari Maathai here

Gillian Burke on Wangari Maathai - part 3 of 4

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