Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Graining In: socio-material becomings of an Indian port city  
Tarini Monga (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper analyses the role of granular matter in the (un)making of the coastal commons in Goa. Through an inquiry into forms of embankment and infrastructural projects, it couples an approach to practices of commoning with an attention to shifty material process on a rapidly urbanising shorefront.

Paper Abstract:

Recent influx of capital to Goa as a sprawling site for “second-homes”, work-from-home destination and tourism centre, poses many socio-ecological risks to the rapidly urbanising shorelines. Based on initial phase of ethnographic fieldwork, this paper examines how sand materialises access rights to valued ecosystems in the context of territorial projects such as river embankments and mobility infrastructure. I examine Goa’s khazan lands — marshy spaces reclaimed from the sea to increase the surface of cultivable land — as “traditional” engineered artefacts which hold tidal waters out. While these systems are on the decline due to private land acquisitions or pseudo-legal forms of changing land categories, they are crucial to understanding colonial demarcations of space and future capacities of commoning.  

In this paper, I bring attention to shifty granular material processes which can unsettle boundaries of common pool resources that straddle realms of public and private; land and sea. Through interviews with geologists, coastal engineers and architects, I analyse the tension between practices of managing coastal commons, valuation of ecosystems and material properties. I argue that this analytical tension allows for conceptualising beyond a polarisation of private property and state intervention (Harvey, 2009:68) and takes seriously the notion of social practice which dictate regimes of access. Goa’s vibrant history of environmental activism and advocacy for land and resource use for all, continues to guide the scope of coastal transformation. Ethnographic attention to smaller acts of land reclamation and the use of khazan lands, can help grapple with its ever-shifting urban waterfronts.

Panel P171
Waterfront speculation: doing and undoing maritime urban spaces
  Session 2 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -