Nick Montgomery

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About Nick Montgomery

My PhD project is focused on alternatives to Empire at the intersections of permaculture and anarchism, and the ways these experiments can be deepened and radicalized by decolonization, feminism, anti-racism, and other movements that cultivate radical, autonomous ways of living and relating.

I’m interested in what’s going on at the “edges” of all these movements–what new practices and ways of living become possible when they come into contact and inform each other? How do these movements prefigure new and old ways of living that are convivial and support thriving ecosystems and communities? How can place-based movements be radical, joyful, and responsible at the same time? How can permaculturalists and anarchists build networks of resistance and resilience, in ways that challenge colonialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy? What are the potentials of these movements, and what are some common pitfalls? What does it mean for settlers to create place-based communities on colonized land? What makes movements transformative, and what leads to their co-optation? How are communities defending themselves and their lands against enclosure and exploitation? What are the common challenges, lessons, or practices to learn from? How are folks developing alliances and networks across struggles and communities?

I'm interviewing people who are cultivating alternatives to Empire, and asking questions like those above. I'm always interested in talking to more folks working on these questions and intersections, so if you know of anyone who might be good to interview about all this, please get in touch with me at montgomerynick [at]

My PhD also has a practical component, involves a collectively-run project to graft several hundred fruit trees and propagate hardy perennials and native plants. We're going to host several free workshops to help make plant knowledge more accessible, and we're hoping to find homes for the plant communities we grow on boulevards, communal gardens, food sovereignty projects, and other places in and around Lekwungen and neighboring territories (in and around Victoria, BC).

I also have a blog called "cultivating alternatives" to help me share what I'm reading and learning through the PhD. It's at

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Appendix 1: Feeling Powers Growing—An Interview with Silvia Federici January 18, 2016 Silvia Federici: My politics resonate with your idea of “joyful militancy.” I’m a strong believer that either your politics is liberating and that gives you joy, or there’s something wrong with them. I’ve gone through phases of “sad politics “ myself and I’ve learned to identify the mistakes that generate it. It has many sources. But one factor is the tendency to exaggerate the importance of what we can do by ourselves, so that we always feel guilty for not accomplishing enough. When I was thinking about this conversation, I was reminded of Nietzsche’s metamorphoses in ... (From:
Capitalism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy make us sick. Are our responses healing us? Are our actions generating wellbeing for others? Or are we unintentionally reproducing the kind of relationships that made us sick in the first place? —Zainab Amadahy[1] Puritanism, in whatever expression, is a poisonous germ. On the surface everything may look strong and vigorous; yet the poison works its way persistently, until the entire fabric is doomed. —Emma Goldman[2] About a century ago, the famous anarchist Emma Goldman was at a party, dancing her heart out, when a young man took her aside. “With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade,” the man told her that ... (From:

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