Wastescapes: spatial justice and inequalities in contemporary cities
Paolo Grassi (Polytechnic of Milan)
Ferdinando Fava (University of Padova/LAA-LAVUE UMR 7218 CNRS)
Kees Koonings (Utrecht University)
Wednesday 15 August, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The panel wants to analyse how urban wastes link space and justice, connecting flows of social actors that constitute arenas of power relations, conflicts, resistances, and stigmatization processes, among different areas and regions in an increasingly and paradoxically "pro-environmental" world.

Long abstract:

Urban waste could be a peculiar medium to analyse the relation between justice and space. In fact, fractured places around the world show oppositions and connections between marginalized "dirty" spaces and "green" and "unpolluted" areas. Through wastes, spatial exclusion coalesces with symbolic and social isolation. Thus, waste is not only a culturally significant element usually related to notions of dirty, clean, and hygiene in the anthropological common discourse, but also a material product that has tangible effects on the world at several levels, included the juridical and spatial ones (its location, distribution and industry). As stated by Joshua Reno in a recent article: "As they circulate and deform, wastes mix with people and places, with which they mutually transform or become together" ("Waste and Waste Management", in Annual Review of Anthropology, 2015: 557-72). In this mutual transformation social actors interact in conflictive and/or cooperative ways. Localization of wastes (dumps, spaces for trash collection, formal and informal waste markets, etc.) let us think about social and spatial zonings in a original way. Tacking into account these considerations, this panel welcomes either ethnographic or anthropological papers interesting in analysing the connections between spatial justice and waste management; waste, social inequalities, and stigmatization processes (and resistance to them); waste trafficking and waste recycling.