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Gabrielle Hecht – “Residual Governance: Mining Afterlives and Molecular Colonialism in a South African Anthropocene”
April 11, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Social Sciences 1, Room 261
“Residual Governance: Mining Afterlives and Molecular Colonialism in a South African Anthropocene”
This talk explores residual governance in contemporary South Africa. Since the early 20th century, piles of mine waste have defined Johannesburg’s topography. Today, corporations and individuals continually revisit these piles – at very different scales – in the eternal hope of extracting further value. Particles from these mine wastes seep into water supplies, infiltrating bodies with heavy metals, solvents, and radioactive particles. Violence results from entanglements between human, corporate, geological, (post)colonial, and chemical time. New sacrificial topographies emerge continually, as the “new South Africa” demands that some people give up immediate personal aspirations for the sake of the collective good, engaging in its own forced relocations in the name of development, moving people onto valueless land – excess earth, contaminated by radioactive debris, chemicals, and heavy metals.
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