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Accepted Paper:

"Imploded Spaceports, Cosmic Cowboys and the Creation of Intergalactic Britannica" An Extra/ Terrestrial Ethnography of British Outerspace Infrastructure.  
Lula Wattam (Goldsmiths)

Paper short abstract:

An exploration of the emerging British Space infrastructure and its extractivist violence on both the terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. Analysing the colonial heteronormative dynamics that are being enacted and projected onto OuterSpace, and the speculative consequences of this.

Paper long abstract:

Space is becoming increasingly full of human. Satellites and space stations, chunks of metal and exploded rockets, skin cells, and, somewhere, a perfectly preserved dead dog. We can confront the present from the interstellar sci-fi and futuristic ideologies but also anchor our analysis in the long history of exploitation that is being mapped onto our cosmic environments. Using methodologies from infrastructural anthropology I will propose engagement with the networks that enable human expansion into space. Using the ports as a way to crumble the binaries between Earth and space.

The Spaceports are being built around the peripheries of the UK, reproducing environmental imperialism on areas deemed 'empty land' yet they already contain their own ecologies. Looking at the intersection between nationalism, space, colonialism and birdlife.

With the building of a 'space-faring nation', taking 'British values' into space with 'British infrastructure' does this affect people's experience of the state and Outerspace? Does this result in interplanetary citizenship, afforded to those inside Britain, specifically around the ports?

Connecting the British strategy to the wider industry as the cosmologies of planetary escape becomes increasingly realistic. Yet what ideologies are going to transcend Earth, at the moment Libertarian, heteronormative, hypercapitalist notions championed by the "Space Cowboys". We gotta do something! Social scientists have to use their critical tools to understand the discourse and physicalities of the harmful industry and reinvigorate imaginaries using speculative decolonial and queer reflections.

Panel P15
Do Androids Menstruate and/or Ejaculate: Imagining the Intersectional Future of Technology, Labour and Interstellar Ethnography
  Session 1 Thursday 9 June, 2022, -