Inter-generational (dis)connections

The question of intergenerational relationships underlines the prospects of future generations (human and non-human) within ruined landscapes. Extracting Us attends to intimate practices of labour, care, and knowledge sharing between elders and youth, and parents and children in extractive landscapes. The works draw out complex stories. Generation, intersecting with gender, race and coloniality, serves as an exercise of power, as extractivism restructures generational social hierarchies and disconnects youth and elders, especially where youth find work within extractive industries or migrate elsewhere. Disconnection is further threatened where the rituals used to mark the passage between generations are embedded in nature, but are lost to environmental degradation. But intergenerational (re)connection is important as the courage and wisdom of ancestors and elders is remembered and embodied in contemporary struggles against extractive industries, integrated with the energies, experiences and perspectives of younger generations.

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TAPESTRY project, Koli fishers photovoice: Picture 36
On extraction and debilitating livelihoods

I have always dreamt of becoming a fisher and follow in the footsteps of my ancestors. The catch these days has become so unpredictable that I am having second thoughts.“.

Two of the largest infrastructure projects in Maharashtra state and India – The biggest container port in India – Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, and an international airport have pushed the original koli population to the margins. Wetlands and mangrove destruction have destroyed fisheries habitats.

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Gendered coal struggles at the margins by Negar Elodie Behzadi . Sharm

In Kante, Tajikistan, villagers consider the work of female miners as shameful. In this village, norms of honour and shame (namus / ayb and/or sharm) regulate women’s everyday lives and their gendered roles and obligations, constraining their socio-spatial mobility and tying them to the home. This series of portraits hints at the (inter)generational and gendered experience but also performance of shame, ultimately highlighting the ambivalence of shame as a marginalizing emotion. These photos, taken in the intimacy of women’s home or in the intimate space created between the ethnographer and the researched, show the way shame can act as a way to hide pleasure – pleasure of being irreverent by telling me to go to the bazaar and ‘grab a man’ if I wanted to get married one day (Bibi Djan, upper left, in her patio), pleasure to be photographed and to capture my attention (Mehrnigor, lower right, coming back from the coal mines).

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Clan or Commodity by V'cenza Cirefice. Ogham Stone
Ogham Stone

The Aghascrebagh Ogham Stone is just a few kilometers from Crocknaboy Hill. The stone is an inscripted burial marker from before 500 AD. Ogham is an early Medieval language from Ireland, also known as the Celtic Tree Alphabet. What other ways of relating to the land, filled with history, ancestors and story exist within the extractive zone? The Irish landscape is full of pre-modern reminders of alternative ways of relating to the land, from fairy trees, fairy forts, dolmens and standing stones. The link to ancestors, the supernatural and the sentient living nonhuman world are never far away; the landscape is social.

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Chanted memories: Waorani storytelling of resistance

This contribution is a collection of short videos of traditional Waorani chanted storytelling. The project engages with current practices of resistance and political mobilisation against oil extraction among Waorani communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, in the province of Pastaza.

Chanting is a very important form of storytelling and communication among the Waorani, who practice it during their celebrations as well as in their daily lives. Women chant to describe their activities or the subjects that inhabit their world, such as plants and animals, as well as to express their feelings, or to recall past events.

Most of the songs recorded have been passed down through generations, dating back to when the Waorani lived with little or no contact with the colonial Ecuadorian society.

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Withering Refuge

Withering Refuge is a film-essay that problematises the plight of different populations living in Zambia’s Meheba Refugee Settlement and in its mining surroundings. The piece explores the way in which the spaces of refuge are dramatically withering. Extracting and processing ore while extracting and processing humans and non-humans alike is not a simple metaphor.

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Dead Water, Participants & Marilene Ribeiro, Portrait of Marinês Nicolli
Portrait of Marinês Nicolli

“I’m concerned about the future of my sons. About their memories in future times. About the memories they won’t be able to have, because, when the Garabi dam works take place they won’t be entitled to follow in our footsteps, they won’t be entitled to live in this place, where we have lived, anymore.” February 18, 2016.

Marinês Nicolli’s feeling: sorrow
“Object”: her son
Location: her bedroom/living roo
© Marinês Nicolli dos Santos and Marilene Ribeiro 2016

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