Ecofeminist Servers

This entry is part of rosa's Ecofeminist Dictionary from the project A Traversal Network of Feminist Servers (ATNOFS)1.

There is no such thing as an ecofeminist server, at least there isn’t one identified as such as far as I know. That’s ok, this dictionary is full of terms that did not exist yet. It is also not about servers but about the language we use to speak about how we use them, the narratives shared. I used the term “ecofeminist” because there is a rich discourse around feminist servers and there is one about sustainability and ICT, and I wanted to explore if and how they connect while simultaneously and briefly exploring the term “ecofeminism” itself.

I am aware of the turbulent history of the term and the very diverse academic and activist practices associated with it. I’m inspired by Miriam Bahaffou and Julie Gorecki’s introduction to the New French Edition of La Feminisme ou La Mort by Francoise D’Eaubonne 2. They describe how, for them, there is a clear connection between the treatment of nature and that of women, the enslaved, disabled, and racialized. All are treated as terrain of experimentation or conquest. They point out the whiteness of ecofeminism’s history and show how colonization is painfully absent from the writings of Francoise d’Eaubonne, who coined the term in 1972. They dismiss the apolitical, ahistorical type of ecofeminism that reproduces white privilege as well as the equally privileged DIY lifestyles that require materials created under horrible conditions by workers on the other side of the world. Yet they see potential in d’Eaubonne’s call to link theory and practice and celebrate calls for “feminist system change not climate change” by women and gender minorities around the world.

“In a damaged world, we feel urgently that reinvention cannot happen except through creating microsynergies, local alliances, and piecemeal collaborations.” --Miriam Bahaffou and Julie Gorecki, 20223

The practices described in this tiny dictionary are specific to their local context yet share the desire to connect the struggle against different oppressions and to transform this desire into ways of doing: something biologist and activist Max Liboiron calls axiology-in-praxis, in Pollution is Colonialism 4. Liboiron describes the way CLEAR lab approaches anti-colonialism as land relations at the scale of protocol. It is impossible to confront land theft and ongoing colonial violence when you’re doing everyday research in a lab, but you can manifest your values in the way you do your daily work (ibid.).

Debora Prado, in Community networks and feminist infrastructure, building upon the work of Stengers and Pignarre 5 and Haraway 6, reflects on the confrontation between activism at different scales; aiming at global and systemic change versus changing practices making use of a diversity of local knowledges and experiences. She argues that, in certain contexts, a dismissal of local knowledges in favor of the imperative of total system change can become a way to shut down discussion and avoid having to think about how our own practices reproduce inequalities: “It is easy to conclude that technologies are colonised and colonising. But it's hard to accept that we, to some extent, are too.”7

A decolonial ecofeminism applied to tech infrastructure can be a way to think through resistance to these connected oppressions at multiple scales; from creating safe online spaces for marginalized communities to political action demanding supply chain transparency and repairable devices out of care for a damaged earth and in solidarity with those who mined the raw materials and worked to produce the devices needed to accommodate those safe online spaces.

  1. Wynsberghe, W., Dobrițoiu, V., Săvoiu, T., SpiderAlex, Nisioi, S., Hofmuller, R., et al. (2022) A Traversal Network of Feminist Servers. Rotterdam: Varia. Available from:
  2. Bahaffou, M. and Gorecki, J. (2022) Introduction to the New French Edition, in: Feminism or Death. London and New York: Verso.
  3. Bahaffou, M. and Gorecki, J. (2022) Introduction to the New French Edition, in: Feminism or Death. London and New York: Verso.
  4. Liboiron, M. (2021) Pollution Is Colonialism. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
  5. Pignarre, P. and Stengers, I. (2010) Capitalist sorcery: breaking the spell. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Haraway, D. (1988) Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, Feminist Studies, 14 (3), pp. 575–599.
  7. Prado, D. (2019, November 4) Community networks and feminist infrastructure: reclaiming local knowledge and technologies beyond connectivity solutions, Available from: