Anticipating worst things to come: Karen practices of mobilization and withdrawal in the Karen hills of Eastern Myanmar
Alexander Horstmann (Tallinn University)
Paper short abstract:
People at the fringes of Myanmar are greatly exposed to global warming, climate changes and natural disaster. The study starts at the premise that people in Southeast Asia are not just victims of climatic catastrophe, but actively position themselves in solutions in anticipation of greater damage
Paper long abstract:
People at the fringes of Myanmar are greatly exposed to global warming, climate changes and natural disaster. The study starts at the premise that people in Southeast Asia are not just victims of climatic catastrophe, but actively position themselves in solutions to landscapes in anticipation of greater damage. It avoids romanticizing communities, but has a closer look at the dynamics within the communities and how fear and resignation are also outcomes of processes of political and economic dispossession. Horstmann uses vulnerability as a starting point to study the work on mobilization along the lines of indigenous people's claims and protests, to study the investments of communities to rebuild the landscape and built protective measures, but also the resignation after the destruction of home, especially given the pillage of military predatory business practice and state-building in the area. The term of repair is used to illustrate the navigational efforts of Karen to invest into rebuilding landscapes in an attempt to bolster the community in anticipation of worst things to come. Doing so, the Karen hope to draw the sympathy and financial support of international organizations, who regard their efforts as bulwark against the destruction of a vital mountain range and ecological sy stem. The extended case study aims to offer a picture of the adaptive responses to climate change, community making and of the global connections in which Karen practices of protest and protection are entangled with.
Future jeopardised: socialities and creations of the fear of climate change