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Accepted Paper:

Challenging Lithium - Energy Production, Defense of the Commons, and Poetic Improvisation in the Northern Portugal  
António Medeiros (ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, CEI-IUL)

Paper short abstract:

In the north of Portugal, poetic improvisers fix new terms for an old performative tradition, namely by giving voice to supra-localist causes and identifications, when contesting the open-pit exploration of lithium in an area where energy production has been big business for almost a century.

Paper long abstract:

A few counties in the extreme north stand out in the production of energy in Portugal, due to a network of hydroelectric dams and - more recently - wind turbines deployed over the hills or at the sea. For a century now, large-scale energy production has damaged clean rivers and greatly transformed the climate and landscape. Today is the existence of important lithium deposits that mostly interests international mining companies and national politicians. Locally, the defense of the commons around one of the most remarkable mountains, where lithium is abundant and its open-air exploitation feared, triggered demonstrations unprecedented in the region. Such mobilizations have been headed by musicians and singers/poetic improvisers ("cantadores ao desafio"), with whom I have been doing fieldwork for a while, popular performers able to both fix new terms for an old tradition and give voice to unheard supra-localist causes and identifications.

Panel P091c
Energy transition(s): the promises of renewables and future of the commons [Energy Anthropology Network] III
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -