Exploring the negotiation of uses, meanings and provision of essential goods including water, electricity, transport, housing, telecommunications and other forms of im/material infrastructure, this panel asks how individuals and groups traverse infrastructural landscapes in an era of insecurity.
Anthropological and geographical enquiry in recent years has focused on both quotidian and extraordinary experiences of infrastructures of various forms. Through a range of studies, scholars have highlighted the political struggles around various infrastructures as well as the logics of racism, discrimination, power and privilege that underpin them (Harvey and Knox, 2015; Gupta, 1998; Kelty 2017). This panel seeks to interrogate the interplay between the material and immaterial infrastructures as they are experienced by different actors, whether individuals, workers, families or corporate, state and other institutional actors. In particular, we seek to draw attention to immaterial infrastructures such as the social relationships, emotional connections, individual and collective imaginations and other forms of obligation that shape how we produce and experience infrastructure. What can a focus on infrastructures reveal about the relationships between bodies, political and social relations in the negotiation of responsibility over the provisioning and use of goods such as water, electricity, housing, transport and telecommunications? We invite papers that draw on empirical and theoretical approaches for analyzing processes of producing, distributing and consuming infrastructures. This panel highlights how diverse populations traverse these landscapes of infrastructure to navigate the instabilities of the contemporary world.