Feminist materiality and postcolonial development arenas

Document type: Conference Presentations
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Birgitta Rydhagen
Title: Feminist materiality and postcolonial development arenas
Translated title: Feministisk materialitet och postkoloniala utvecklingsarenor
Conference name: Feminist materialisms
Year: 2012
City: Copenhagen
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Planning and Media Design (Sektionen för planering och mediedesign)
School of Planning and Media Design S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/dsn/
Authors e-mail: birgitta.rydhagen@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: In eastern Uganda, volcanic activity in the past has formed a salt lake. Today, the lake is surrounded by a national park hosting elephants and other large animals. Close to the lake within the park is also a small town, Katwe. The human inhabitants live from salt extraction in the lake. The work is manual and bodies are exposed to salt water during daily work. Researchers’ and investors’ visions to develop the salt quality have created fear that while facilitating salt extraction, people’s access and control over the meager income from salt work will be eroded. What we find is a situation where discourses of development – including reducing health hazardous work conditions and increasing involvement in a larger economic system, bodies affected by salt and by hunger, and visions of future livelihoods in a natural reserve are melted together. Will a meltdown of Katwe town and its human inhabitants be the effect, or will their agency lead to new forms of local postdevelopment strategies?
We aim to discuss the local situation in Katwe in relation to feminist materialist theory and postcolonial and postdevelopment thought.
Summary in Swedish: En saltsjö i Uganda används för saltutvinning av bybor i samhället Katwe. Saltarbetarna påverkas kraftigt av saltet, både som frätande och uttorkande lösning i vattnet, och som inkomstbringande resurs. Teknikutveckling och ekonomiska investeringar innebär möjligheter till mer industriell utvinning av saltet, vilket skulle öka intäkterna från sjön men troligtvis på bekostnad av lokalbefolkningen som saknar ekonomiska resurser och kunskap att driva en sådan verksamhet. Frågor om lokal och nationell utveckling aktualiseras med hjälp av feministisk materialism.
Subject: Feminist Technoscience Studies\General
Keywords: feminist materialism, salt lake, Uganda
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