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Accepted Paper:

Instead of saying goodbye. Disappearing wetlands of eastern Poland as a source of affects and call for action  
Adam Pisarek (University of Silesia in Katowice)

Paper short abstract:

In the paper, author wants to raise a question of how the disappearance of wetlands in eastern Poland has led to the formation of affects that have consequently enabled the inhabitants of these areas to shape new narratives and modes of engagement with more-than-human worlds.

Paper long abstract:

In the 1970s, wetlands along two rivers of eastern Poland – the Biebrza and the Narew – were consistently drained. It was a part of the modernization policy of the Polish People's Republic. As a consequence, the unique ecosystems co-shaped by the inhabitants of these places for the last few hundred years were destroyed. Intensification and mechanization of local farming, eutrophication of waters and change of biodiverse areas into monoculture ones also contributed to the devastation.

In the paper I want to raise a question of how the disappearance of wetlands in eastern Poland over the past fifty years has led to the formation of affects that have consequently enabled the inhabitants of these areas to shape new narratives and modes of engagement with more-than-human worlds. I am also interested in relations between affects and situated nooscapes in which natural science merges with common and traditional knowledge.

The first affect analyzed in this paper is "pragmatic nostalgia" for lost times. It finds its expression in the work of local guides and stories told during their travels through the spatially separated areas of national parks. The second distinctive affect is "careful love" manifested by naturalization, conservation, and research activities. The last one can be described as "everyday concern" and linked with educational and rescue activities. Ultimately, I will show that each of these affects, emerging from drying wetlands, organizes the thoughts and actions to stop environmental damage.

Panel P036b
Losing Worlds. On Affectivity in the Time of Environmental Damage and Ecopolitical Resistance II
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -