P128
Environments and infrastructures of slow violence

Convenors:
Janina Kehr (University of Bern)
Sven Bergmann (Universit├Ąt Bremen)
Location:
SO-D315
Start time:
16 August, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Taking the concept of "slow violence" as a starting point, we discuss topics such as environmental injustice, health, infrastructural abandonment, forced migration, ecological disaster and death, to interrogate how people (and other species) across the globe live, move, mobilize and suffer today.

Long abstract:

Ever more precarious realities of economic subsistence and increasing problems of pollution constitute environments of slow violence. In the proposed panel, we take the concept of "slow violence" (Nixon 2013) as a starting point to discuss topics ranging from environmental (in)justice to health problems, infrastructural abandonment, forced migration, ecological disaster and death, which shape how people (and other species) across the globe live, move, mobilize and suffer today. This concept enables investigation on how historical dispossession (Sandlos and Keeling 2016), deteriorating sociotechnological systems and economic and infrastructural instability (Fortun 2014) influence peoples' realities of living. Such processes cannot be easily traced back to a single responsibility, actor or point in time. They complicate temporalities, politics and questions of justice in legacies of environmental and infrastructural uncertainty. Infrastructures, in such contexts, can play a role in both, increasing and decreasing toxic or healthy exposures. To give two examples, austerity processes in healthcare and the diminishing of welfare infrastructures affect the health and living expectations of poor people. On the other hand, toxic environments and marine plastic debris show how industrial infrastructures produce an excess of pollution and impact on multi-species ecologies. Slow violence interrogates both developments: the "too-much" and the "too-little". We are looking forward to receiving papers that inquire into diverse ethnographic and thematic cases of slow violence (e.g. health; pollution; migration; (post)colonialism; dispossession; labour). We would appreciate papers that reflect on collaborative knowledge production with "experts", activists or affected persons in these fields.