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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Technology + Pollution + Damage + Uncertainty = Ethnography


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 30 Aug 11:00 - 15:30


Room 2.123

"Health damage from pollution, radiation, and toxic living environments creates ponderous uncertainty within communities. Such environmental health threats, often invisible and unmeasurable without recourse to specialized scientific instruments, not only weigh on victims but complicate attempts to prove causality and blame. Fractured communities riven by divergent exposure, vested interests, socioeconomic difference, and battles between rival dossiers of scientific evidence bear witness to the difficulties of litigating victimhood. Added to which, campaigns for justice over environmental suffering create pressures to translate personal experience and cultural difference into terms acceptable to transnational NGOs and global environmental activism, with sometimes ambivalent results. This panel foregrounds narratives of contamination and suffering in sites of environmental damage, as well as the ethnographic methods critical to accessing, eliciting, recording, and communicating discourses of uncertainty at the intersection of powerful 21st-Century technologies and vulnerable bodies and ecologies. The panel conveners welcome contributions from scholars or experienced practitioners willing to engage robustly with the toxic perils of the contemporary world and the potential for ethnography to interpret fraught sites of human injustice and perseverance."


  • P 76.1
    • Dr. Nakahara, Satoe (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
    • Dr. LARREA KILLINGER, Cristina (University of Barcelona)
    • Dr. KIRBY, Peter Wynn (University of Oxford)
  • P 76.2
    • Dr. Nakahara, Satoe (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
    • Dr. LARREA KILLINGER, Cristina (University of Barcelona)
    • Dr. KIRBY, Peter Wynn (University of Oxford)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 11 contributions out of 11
This paper explores trust and distrust in relation to food risks and the chemical substances present in food among pregnant and breastfeeding women in four different regions of Spain in order to analyze how mothers incorporate different social meanings and to know the most important categories they use when talking about risk in relation to food. Through a study based on an analysis of cultu ... More
Presented by Dr. Araceli MUÑOZ on 30/8/2019 at 11:20
Eight years have passed since the accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station following the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami. Discontent is growing among the evacuees, including: compensation schemes, reconstruction policies, bullying at school and residence, etc. Previous works have revealed that evacuees lost irreplaceable value such as the natural resources of their ... More
Presented by Dr. Satoe NAKAHARA on 30/8/2019 at 15:05
The paper discusses the almost lost socialist-modernist green corridor infrastructure as a focal point of urban struggles amid air pollution crisis in Warsaw. Over the past decades, the radial green ventilation corridors nicknamed wedges have been disappearing at an alarming rate amid new construction. The call for a preservation of the remaining wedges has become a powerful symbol channeling the ... More
Presented by Jana HRCKOVA on 30/8/2019 at 12:00
Over recent decades, epidemics of chronic kidney disease of uncertain origin (CKDu) have appeared across the globe. Predominantly located in low- and middle-income regions across Africa, Mesoamerica, and South Asia, they have likely emerged from late industrial socio-ecological conditions, including poverty, pollution, and global warming. Despite extensive investigation, CKDu researchers have fail ... More
Presented by Dr. Tom WIDGER on 30/8/2019 at 12:20
Nuclear militarization of the Pacific caused environmental and health problems which affected generations of people living there. Compared to the nuclear tests in Marshall Islands and French Polynesia, British and American nuclear tests conducted on Kiritimati and Malden Island in Kiribati are not widely known to the public. While the stories of military personnel who served in Kiritimati were col ... More
Presented by Sei KOSUGI on 30/8/2019 at 13:45
As Japan mobilized the world’s largest “decontamination” effort in history in the spill of the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, residents of frontline communities in Fukushima struggled with the human toll of radiation and uncertainty. The state scraped more than 16 million tons of radioactive soil from the surface of countless square kilometres in and around the Exclusi ... More
Presented by Dr. Peter Wynn KIRBY on 30/8/2019 at 14:05
In Minamata, where the release of methylmercury in the wastewater of Chisso Corporation's factory caused severe mercury poisoning, the government, citizens, and victims undertook cooperative community projects from 1990, to reconstruct the relationships among people and between people and nature, which had been once destroyed by the Minamata disease (MD). However, in the 2000s, Integrated Waste-Ma ... More
Presented by Dr. Kentaro SHIMODA on 30/8/2019 at 9:00
While most of us tend to think of pharmaceuticals as purely chemical compounds, the majority of them contain plants and medicinal herbs—either through direct processing in the case of plant-based medicines or indirectly when plants serve as models for synthetic drugs. At these pharmaceutical crossroads, the health of the planet and our bodies become entangled in an experimental mode of cohabitat ... More
Presented by Dr. Gergely MOHACSI on 30/8/2019 at 14:25
France established the CEP (Centre d’Expérimentations de Pacifique) in French Polynesia in 1962 and conducted 193 atmospheric and underground nuclear tests in Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls from 1966 to 1996. During the nuclear testing, Hao, an atoll of the Tuamotu 450 km away from Moruroa and Fangataufa, was used as an advanced base for the nuclear tests. The CEP developed infrastructure and so ... More
Presented by Dr. Makiko KUWAHARA on 30/8/2019 at 11:40
This paper examines the reality of radiation effects from the point of view of atomic bomb survivors in Japan. In 1945 the US dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. They completely destroyed the cities and murdered numerous people including children and elderlies. In addition to severe heat rays and powerful blast, radiation emitted from the atomic bombs damaged human cells and ha ... More
Presented by Dr. Masaya NEMOTO on 30/8/2019 at 14:45
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