About Max


Maximilian Kanig

B.Sc. Geography (Free University of Berlin)

Environmental Sciences (2 semester, University of Stirling)

now: M.Sc. Physical Geography (Cologne University)

Research interests:

  • Soil science and protection

  • Closing of circuits by material flow management using the Terra Preta technology in the botanical garden in terms of resource efficiency and climate protection – Model Project Urban Farming → Topic of a major research project during my Bachelor and of my Bachelor thesis

  • GIS, (spatial) statistics, environmental (remote and proximate) sensing, open source software

  • Agroecology, permaculture

  • Anarchism and re-communalization

After spending a year as an exchange student in Brasil in 2007, I became more and more aware of the destruction of the environment while travelling around my home state Paraná. It used to be covered in native and abundant rainforest and native coniferous trees, but nowadays it’s mainly soy bean monoculture and eucalyptus plantations. I was 16 by that time and returning home I really wanted to save the planet.

My first attempts on this big topic were quite conventional, I became a member of the local green party and co-founded a youth group (affiliated to the German Young Greens).
Personal and conceptual conflicts with members of the ‘parent organisation’ made us youths collectively resign from the party – a strong signal, which led us into way more radical and effective actions than before.

In 2011, I moved to Berlin to start my studies of Geography. First, I tried to continue my envolvement in environmental contexts to the same extend as I had in my hometown, but I soon was overwhelmed by numerous groups there existed in Berlin. So I decided that I would rather stay unorganized, than be a member of some group I could not fully agree with. I discovered anarchistic theorys and, as a consequence, radicalized some parts of my life.
So I became a vegan, co-founded a community garden outside the city, built a bike made of wood and other renewable materials as a semester project at uni, went to Belarus to iniciate an exchange programme with a couple of friends, blocking transports of nuclear waste etc. Within all these different activities I met innumerous wonderful people and new synergy effects were created constantly.

Although I was an environmental activist, I was far from being a particularly outdoorsy person. Of course I used to spend hours and days roaming and exploring the woods when I was a child, but I somehow lost that connection during my high school years. What made me rediscover the joy of being outside was really my chosen field of academic study. During field trips we collected soil samples, measured stream flow and mapped geomorphologic landscape features. This connection with all the living things on our planet and theories such as critical geography, that I encountered during these first years of study made me think that I would like to combine my research and activism.

The fifth and the sixth semesters I decided to study abroad and I chose Environmental Sciences at the University of Stirling in Scotland.
Holy Bob, has this year changed me!. Tbc…



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