Gold matters: Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and sustainability transformations
(University of Reading)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores how futures are (re)imagined in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining, challenging conventional views on the dynamics of sustainability while bringing questions of moral responsibility and political accountability to the fore.
Paper long abstract:
Transformative approaches to sustainability have gained traction in contemporary policy debates. Given how sustainability challenges are societal and not (just) environmental, anthropology has a role to play in the generation of politically engaged understandings of the potential for society-driven processes of sustainability to emerge. De-centring mainstream understandings of Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) and (un)sustainability, this paper explores how futures are (re)imagined in ASGM. Taking a materialist approach, gold matters are located as involving lively materialities, geo affects, challenging conventional views on the dynamics of change in ASGM while bringing questions of moral responsibility and political accountability to the fore. The paper emphasizes the need for an agenda on trans-disciplinary engagement on ASGM and new mining futures that shifts the terms of dominant debate to give greater credence to heterogeneous knowledge and practices, in the process giving expression to the voices of marginalized mining actors in debates on sustainability transformations.
Questioning the (un)sustainability of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining