Env05
Towards an anthropology of un/making: affective encounters in abandonment, ruination, and creative destruction
Convenor:
Arvid van Dam (University of Leeds)
Chair:
Dr Leila Dawney
Discussant:
Dr Yael Navaro-Yashin
Stream:
Environment
Format:
Location:
Queen Elizabeth House (QEH) SR2
Start time:
19 September, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to understand the processes of unmaking and ruination in terms of their affective and creative qualities. It sheds light on the intertwinements of affect and (derelict) materiality, asking what social forms and imaginations inspire and emerge from ruination.

Long abstract:

The goal of this panel is to stimulate debate on the processes of unmaking and ruination in terms of their affective and creative qualities. Departing from an understanding of ruination as an ongoing and active process, this panel engages ruins not through nostalgic contemplation, but interrogates the making of, and life among, ruins in the contemporary post-colonial and post-industrial world. In doing so, it sheds light on the intertwinements of affect and (derelict) materiality, asking what social forms and imaginations inspire and emerge from ruination and the creative-destructive processes of unmaking. Ruination can take many forms. Across the globe, rural abandonment is depleting villages of its inhabitants; in mining regions, shifting towns respond to the growth of the mines they depend upon and leave behind their former walls; industrial and urban decay are often seen as dangerous voids in communities or as potential sites for regeneration; and forced displacement and violent conflict shatter ways of life and built environments. Recognising the multiplicity of forms of ruination, this panel seeks to bring together a variety of ethnographic studies in different contexts, including violent and non-violent, and rural and urban settings. The panel's discussant will be Dr Yael Navaro-Yashin (University of Cambridge), who will draw on her expertise in ruins, ruination and environmentally produced affect.