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Infrastructural Residues: Reproduction and Destruction of Infrastructures Across Space and Time 
Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
Raphael Deberdt (Colorado School of Mines)
Jolynna Sinanan (University of Manchester)
Katrin Schmid (University of Vienna)
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Friday 26 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Infrastructures are at the core of many social transformations, sociopolitical developments and processes of innovation. This panel aims at discussing the reproduction and destruction of infrastructures across space and time.

Long Abstract:

Infrastructures are not purely technical or technological phenomena. They also include the social relationships people establish while creating connections and networks to operate technological objects. Infrastructures are at the core of many social transformations, sociopolitical developments and processes of innovation. They have become indicators and signs of economic growth, technological creation and “modernization” (Harvey & Knox, 2012). Colonial pasts and presents, for instance, speak through infrastructures which have allowed for the exploitation of people, resources, land and seascapes. Infrastructures are instrumental in the imposition of a specific aesthetic through roads, ports, mines, power lines, housing or digital connectivity, and create what Larkin (2013) described as the ambient environment of everyday lives. A deeper understanding of such infrastructural relationships and connected processes of socio-technical change or continuity requires ethnographic engagements, careful contextualization and anthropologically informed theorizing. Anthropological studies of infrastructures have shown the contradictions and frictions between planned construction and uses and what people then decide to do with these infrastructures. In this sense, infrastructures act as indicators to analyze conflicts between planning, designing and appropriation, or actual use. The infrastructural lens allows for making the invisible more visible. This panel brings together theoretical considerations and empirical examples that consider the challenges of infrastructural, temporal processes and the subsequent contestations of regional knowledge. Beyond a critique of imposed infrastructures, we provide a forum to address ways forward in the identification of future projects and the inclusion of local, Indigenous, and under-represented voices.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 26 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Friday 26 July, 2024, -