Accepted Paper:

Techno-ecologies of Solar Fields: Entangling landscape, bodies and ethico-politics  

Author:

Dagmar Lorenz-Meyer (Charles University)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on feminist STS and new materialism, this paper develops the frame of techno-ecology and uses ethnography and Roma photography to examine how different materialities affect to another in post-military places, and embody worldings and ethico-politics that are at odds with citizen science.

Paper long abstract:

This paper follows the object gatherings of photovoltaic panels through unexpected encounters in a former military training area where the largest solar fields in the Czech Republic were built in 2010. Examining how the solar panels have become part of a post-military landscape, multispecies entanglements, and capitalist profiteering, and building on feminist technoscience and new materialisms, the paper develops the framework of techno-ecologies. Techno-ecologies focus on how different materialities - technical, biological and geologic - are entangled and affect to one another, while keeping matters of life and death, finitude and renewal at the forefront. The paper explores how alternative energy in the landscape materialises also traces of constitutive exclusions: of migrant labour, toxicity, and community, together with differing ethico-politics. The investigation proceeds through ethnographic observation, interviews with scientists and community representatives, and the production and exhibition of photographs by Roma women of the place that draw attention to a range of energy infrastructures: solar fields, uranium pumps and military remnants. Showing how Roma bodies have been literally co-constituted by these infrastructures, and how the images materialise a practice of engagement in the form of silent witnessing and a refusal to forget that rupture an ethics of indifference and is at odds with science and technology studies' topical focus on citizen science, the paper asks: What kind of techno-ecological worldings, pasts and futures, and forms of response-ability (Haraway) appear in these encounters, and what might this mean for feminist technoscience engagements?

Panel T100
Feminist Technoscience Studies in Unexpected Places: (Intra)Activism and Social Justice