The Feminist Hiking Collective launches Edelweiss Resist, a collective campaign to raise awareness about mountain protection including leave no trace practices, to ground hiking and trekking in collective and feminist mountain protection, and to always remember that we belong to nature.
The material: We have a double-sided summary leaflet and 18 postcards in two versions.
Creating awareness and collective distribution: we invite you to use the material (leaflets, sticker cards and e-cards) as a basis for creating awareness about collective mountain protection. You can distribute the material online and offline - possibly during hikes and walks, and to be left in the huts, either as leaflets to be distributed or as posters and stickers to be put up in the huts with the permission of the hut manager - using recycled paper and, of course, not scattering the prints.
About the Edelweiss: the Edelweiss is not a single flower, but an inflorescence made up of a variable number of flowers (from 50 to 500) grouped together in several heads (from 2 to 12) which in turn are gathered inside white leaves (from 5 to 15) with a velvety appearance, called "bracts", arranged in the shape of a star. It is therefore a collection of different flowers, which together become a wonderful and resilient flower, able to resist the difficult conditions of altitude. Despite its fragile appearance, every single part of the flower is designed to survive extreme weather conditions: from the wind-resistant underground stems, to the leaves, which limit evapotranspiration, to the woolly bracts, whose microstructure protects against ultraviolet rays.
For us, the Edelweiss represents the feminist protection of the mountains: a collective commitment and practice, where everyone* has a fundamental and indispensable role, without protagonism, honouring the work of those who live and defend the mountains on the front line in the most difficult territorial and social circumstances, and focusing on our resilience and collective resistance to protect the mountains from the extractivist and depredatory neoliberal system. We attach great importance to non-massifying collective consciousness-raising, which means that this campaign aims to create small but widespread spaces for dialogue and awareness, where we can exchange reflections and knowledge, analyse our practices in the light of a commitment to mountain protection, understand the connection between our practices and the structures of the system in which we live, the culture, the economic system, the invisible power of the media, the communities, movements and struggles for the defence of the Earth that do not find space in "mainstream" narratives, and the importance of building concrete and collective spaces for awareness, empowerment and action.
The practices in the campaign materials are not comprehensive of all diverse and plural mountain protection practices, but they are a few impactful examples. The leave no trace practices included in the materials are the result of the work of the Centre for Outdoor Ethics.
The Feminist Hiking Collective is a feminist non-profit organisation that aims to build and sustain collective feminist leadership and power through hiking and mountaineering, to contribute building a feminist world that is grounded in belonging to nature. An integral and fundamental part of our work is feminist mountain protection, rooted in the collective knowledge of mountain communities. By feminist mountain protection we mean an approach that focuses on our connection and belonging to nature. This approach honours and highlights the experiences and practices of mountain communities in protecting nature at a transnational level, valuing in particular the knowledge of mountain women and of all identities marginalised by the patriarchal system.