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Accepted Paper:

Decarbonisation and ecological transition in contemporary Sulcis: the social movement that is not happening  
Elena Apostoli Cappello (ULB Universié Libre de Bruxelles)

Paper short abstract:

At the margins of the mining region of Sulcis we try to understand the role of local socio-cultural aspects in decarbonisation processes. We focus on the local industrial crisis linked to the coal phase out of the region, which has produced economic crises and dispossessions of entire communities.

Paper long abstract:

We propose here reflections on a recently opened fieldwork, in which the social role of researchers is still under negotiation. In the framework of an H2020 funded project we are conducting at the margins (San Pietro island) of the mining region of Sulcis an ethnography aimed at understanding the role of some local socio-cultural aspects in decarbonisation processes. In particular, we focus on the local industrial crisis linked to the decarbonisation of the region, which has produced economic crises and dispossessions of entire communities. This context sees the rise of populism and an increasing misrtust in institutions. Anthropological knowledge can be considered a militant theoretical practice in itself.The researchers here broadly shares the political objectives at stake, especially in terms of the appropriation of political processes by local communities and the expansion of the capacity for co-creation of the territory and negotiation in the management of resources. Having adopted locally a posture of dialogical reflexivity, we had to confront our own projections, which at first led us to erroneously glimpse in San Pietro island a prefigurative environmental community. Actually, the local environmental movement is very small and marginalized by the community. Environmental claims are fragmented in a local context that seems to absorb and nullify forms of grassroots solidarity and collaboration. The community here, heavily afflicted by the environmental bads of the coal and steel plants, seems dispossessed to the extent that it cannot express a real organised movement to demand the inclusion of local voices in socio-technical transformation processes.

Panel P164a
Times of crisis, times of hope? Movements and collaborations between transformative potential and reification [Anthropology and Social Movements Network]
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -