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Collaboration, (in)determinacy and the work of translation in development encounters 
Sophie Haines (University of Edinburgh)
Piergiorgio Di Giminiani (Universidad Catolica de Chile)
Invited panels
Start time:
31 July, 2014 at
Time zone: Europe/Tallinn
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Our panel explores the implications of collaboration discourses and practices in socio-economic development programmes, and reflects on the work of translation in creating and negotiating conflicts, uncertainties, and new social, political and environmental relations.

Long Abstract:

This panel will explore collaboration discourses and practices in socio-economic development programmes, and their implications for the translation and materialisation of different worlds. In times of crisis (environmental, economic, moral), collaboration has emerged as an alternative paradigm to the certainties once held by development planners and practitioners. While giving rise to expectations of intimacy between development actors, collaboration also fosters uncertainties about the kinds of worlds it aims to affect among differently-positioned subjects. Processes of translation in development can be problematic and productive, involving relationships and objects that are at once material and imaginative, instrumental and meaningful.

In a departure from perspectives that see translation as unilateral, and from those focused on the incommensurability of 'local' and 'scientific' knowledge, this panel examines the potential of collaboration and its frictions for challenging existing assumptions and ultimately generating different worlds. Through the reconfiguration of relations among individuals and groups, humans and non-humans, development encounters emerge as processes of ontogenesis. We aim to also address the political and historical implications of transformative and fragmented ontologies, at work in new technologies of collaboration in development.We invite analyses that consider explicit and implicit translations in development programmes, and explore how key terms, such as community, nature, indigeneity, marginality, poverty, (etc) come to be determined/underdetermined. We encourage reflections ondevelopment projects as material and moral, political and poetical, effective and affective; and ethnographic insights into the experience of collaborations and conflicts in everyday life, as well as in moments of sudden change or disruption.

Accepted papers:

Session 1