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Accepted Paper:

Apocalyptic frames on climate/environment-induced migrants: victims/threats or adaptive/responsible agents?  
Hacer Gören (Koç University) Sebnem Koser Akcapar (Social Sciences University of Ankara)

Paper short abstract:

Based on two bodies of literature, we revolve around the question of whether yet-to-come climate/environment-induced migrants are responsible, resilient subjects or disempowered, racialized victims. We trace the ways these two divergent imaginaries translate into action at a macro scale.

Paper long abstract:

The cascades of events within the 'thick present', including the climate crisis, have led us to rethink thick temporalities which more and more animate the synchronous flow of the present and the future. One of the starkest implications of this has been on the signification and constitution of the image of climate/environment-induced migrants. By comparing two relatively recent bodies of literature, this paper intends to trace the materiality of two different frames concerning climate/environment-induced migrants. One is 'migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change' (Bettini 2013; 2017) and the other is 'racialization tendencies of apocalyptic narratives' (Baldwin 2012; 2016). By decentralizing and individualizing risks and responsibilities behind climate change, the first perspective depicts migrants as adaptive, resilient, and response-able agents, who can make decisions, take responsibility, and migrate so as to adapt to the climate crisis. The latter, though, constitute climate/environment-induced migrants as disempowered, securitized, dehumanized, and quantified bodies stripped of any decision-making, context, history, socio-ecological conditions, and involvement in democratic political processes. With an emphasis on discourse as 'worlding worlds' (Haraway 2016), we revolve around the question of whether yet-to-come climate/environment-induced migrants are responsible subjects or racialized victims. We also ask the question of whether such binaries contribute to more responsive, responsible, and sympoietic worlds in the face of the climate crisis or reversely, normalize the current crisis and reproduce more indifference to it. It is the question of how such imaginaries translate into action at a macro scale.

Panel Exti09b
Creations of the catastrophes: imagining hopeful and hopeless futures in a collapsing world II
  Session 1 Friday 2 April, 2021, -