Tamalone van den Eijnden

The Praxis, Politics, and Poetics of Commoning at the Polder: Towards a Grounded Theory of Transformative Change for Biodiversity and Justice

Department of Science, Technology, and Policy  Studies, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences, University of Twente

Supervisors: Prof. dr. Esther Turnhout & Corelia Baibarac-Duignan


With a BA in International Studies (University of Leiden) and a RMA in Media, Art and Performance Studies (Utrecht University), and a passion for environmental philosophy, Tamalone looks at social phenomena such as urban interventions and developments, robots, and science fiction from an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective. The common thread is a reflection on how we can imagine and work towards a future that is more just and sustainable. Past research projects, Tamalone has been involved with include Co-creating alternative ‘zero-waste’ urban imaginaries (Seed Funding), IMAGINE (Norwegian Research Council), and the Plasticity Project (Unusual Collaboration Grant).


In my research I reflect on the potentials and difficulties of social transformation towards more sustainable and equitable ecologies. For this purpose, I take a participatory action research approach with the activist initiative of Foodpark Amsterdam that aims to save the Lutkemeerpolder from becoming an industrial area by providing an alternative vision and plan, namely a foodpark premised on the principles of the commons. This research is part of BIOTraCes, a European research collaboration that takes a justice-driven and bottom-up approach to biodiversity and transformation in European landscapes.

I look at the Lutkemeerpolder as a site of contestation and imagination of interrelated narratives, biophysical material realities, and different potential forms of living together. Understanding these dynamics in terms of praxis, politics and poetics informs my thinking about research into transformation.

The praxis of contestation and imagination at the Lutkemeerpolder refers to my methodological approach, where theory is generated by being embedded in the material context of the polder and the initiatives of Foodpark Amsterdam. Such research will result in a theory of change, but not in the sense of a normative ideal or a recipe for change, but as situated critical reflection of specific actions and practices.

By examining the politics at play in the Lutkemeerpolder, I politicize questions that currently are often handled as merely economic and ecological issues. I will examine, how any conversation about land use, including this research, is a political one in the sense that it involves dynamics of power, exclusion and inclusion, as well as the articulation of difference. My research on change, then, will result in a renewed understanding of politics involving more centrally the more-than-human world.

Lastly, understanding the struggles around the Lutkemeerpolder from a poetics perspective, draws attention to the different visions that are generated about the area by the municipality, neighboring residents, and Foodpark Amsterdam. These visions simultaneously resonate and dissonate within a larger cultural context of artistic and creative efforts that imagine more socially just and sustainable futures. This gives insight into the affective and energetic fields of inspiration and persuasion that drive change processes.



Eijnden, Tamalone van den. 2023. “Out of the Bin, into the Open: Looking at the Mediating and Performing Material Afterlives of Data.” In Situating Data: Inquiries in Algorithmic Culture, edited by Karin van Es and Nanna Verhoeff, 103–19. Amsterdam University Press. https://doi.org/10.5117/9789463722971.


Eijnden, Tamalone van den, Corelia Baibarac-Duignan, Michiel de Lange, and Maartje de Goede. 2022. “Materials and Modes of Translation: Re-Imagining Inclusive ‘Zero’-Waste Futures.” Frontiers in Sustainable Cities 4. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frsc.2022.958423.


Eijnden, Tamalone van den, 2019. How to Think Posthumanly with Nature? Octopodal Creatures as Conceptual Personae of an Alien Nature. Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities, 4(1), pp.43–57. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33391/jgjh.53