Agency

The notion of agency, and multiple agencies, is central to the feminist approach of the Extracting Us exhibition and our intention for it also to generate conversations. While extractive industries and their machines are often depicted as the main agents of change and impact, only seeing this perspective can take away agency from those participating in, on the peripheries of, or resisting extractivist practices. Both collective and individual actions continue with and despite the violences of extractivism. The different modes of creative engagement also incarnate different ways of thinking about agency, whether directly engaged in social movements, sharing calls to action, or more implicitly cultivating an awareness and sensibility to the complex realities of extractivist context.

Engaging in creative and artistic practices can also be a way of showing the agency of collectives, of conversations, of the camera, of materials, or of sustained relations of care to peoples and places. Different contributions to Extracting Us show the varied ways in which the agency of people, infrastructures and materials can be experienced, imposed, lost, (re)claimed, protected, or sustained.


Continue to explore connections with agency

Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá - A chama de nossa luta
A chama de nossa luta

The main objective of the indigenous movement is the struggle for the guarantee of rights historically usurped by the State, in which the struggle for territory is the main demand. In addition to the current scenario in which the world is living due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, in Brazil, indigenous peoples are experiencing drama guided by the Government’s policies to exterminate nature and the traditional peoples that inhabit it. Faced with all this, indigenous peoples once again face the struggle against an outstanding genocide, where they kill bodies, wisdom, humans, non-humans, nature and culture in the name of a (capitalist) system that is increasingly doomed to fail. And once again, indigenous peoples are increasingly showing themselves as being beyond just the past, but also the present and especially the future of this planet.

Explore Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá’s work

Dead Water, Participants & Marilene Ribeiro, Portrait of Nelci
Portrait of Nelci Marilene

“How do you feel about Garabi dam, Nelci?” Nelci – “Hard to tell… Really angry! I couldn’t imagine what I would be capable of doing. If they decide to run the dam works close to here, I tell you: they won’t build this dam because what they put up on the daylight I would put down by the night.” Marilene – “Is there anything that could represent this anger?” Nelci [staring at me] – “Fire!” Marilene – “How would you like to be portrayed with this fire to tell your story?”

February 11 2016 © Nelci Bárbaro and Marilene Ribeiro 2016

Explore Participants & Marilene Ribeiro’s work

Nadirah, coal woman

Nadirah  is an animated ethnographic portrait of one stigmatised woman coal miner, in the village of Kante, in Tajikistan.

Written by Dr Negar Elodie Behzadi
Animation Design: Kate Jessop
Sound: Nicholas O’Brien, Upcycled Sounds
(2min24)

Explore Negar Elodie Behzadi’s work

Extraction II: Roads and Threads by Ruyu Lin. A gift of patterned gloves.
Extraction II: Roads and Threads

Around 45 years ago an indigenous girl was forced to give up formal education by her mother, to work at the highway construction site to earn cash and build ways to connect their village to the goods from outside. She kept a small amount of her salary and discovered the woollen thread imported from an unknown place. When coal, hydropower and timber being exported through the highway she participated to build, she founded her small knitting business. She kept doing this business because of joy, the colourful creations decorated her lifeworld and gave her mobility to wander travel beyond her village. From a daughter, a worker to a tourist, a wife, a mother, she played roles in different situations, continue working for the highway construction.

Roads are like rivers in the rainy season. The constant maintenance of road reinstates the state governance over the borderland. Yet in these fabrics that construct the changing landscape, Khandrup and her threads tell a story positive to her, of how the extraction and roads changed her life and the view she has about herself.

In this audio recording, Khandrup discusses how she decides the cost of her knitting pieces.

Explore Ruyu Lin’s work

Bidonmondes (Four)

Bidonmondes follows the various applications of plastic canisters in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal – their use as palm oil, water and petrol canisters and their re-modification into and use as dustbins, sieves, and burning material.

Explore Sandro Simon’s work

Water is more precious than stone

The Owenkillen river weaves its way past the proposed site of the gold mine. Home to rare freshwater pearl mussels, spawning salmon and otters, it’s a Special Area of Conservation. In 2019, local resident and member of Save Our Sperrins, Fidelma O’Kane successfully challenged the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for granting permission for Dalradian to discharge effluent into the river. In this video the nonhuman agency of the river speaks to us through it’s sound and movement, while the 2D map reduces this area to a dead resource to extract from.

Explore V’cenza Cirefice’s work

TAPESTRY project, Koli fishers photovoice: Picture 38
The struggle of the Kolis for their rights continue.

Towards the end of the photovoice action research, the fishers union won their appeal to the National Green Tribunal. Still the state-business-corporator nexus continues to use overt and covert means to displace the fishers and usurp their livelihood.

Explore the TAPESTRY Collective’s work

Gatherings at the Horse Hill Gates
Making a Scene

This photo-collage series, comprising photos contributed from the archives of campaign groups, showcases nearly a decade of persistent collective action at Horse Hill. There are diverse reasons for and ways of objecting to oil extraction at  Horse Hill, with fractures as well as alliances emerging within and between campaigning communities.

Feautured Photos:

Frack Free Surrey campaigners and other supporters gather for the ‘No Fracking Way’ demonstration. January 2016.  Photo by Bryn Truscott.

At the regular Faith at the Gate gatherings (including online meetings whilst Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings are in place), campaigners bring their  prayers, poems and thoughtful silence to Horse Hill.  December 2019. Photo by Back Off Horse Hill.

More than 80 people from both the local area and the wider south-east gather for a picnic by the Horse Hill drilling site to demonstrate their concerns and listen to talks. October 2014. Photo by Jono.

Campaigners peacefully express their concerns about the local impacts and climate change impacts of oil production at Horse Hill. October 2019.  Photo by Back Off Horse Hill.

Explore Alice Owen’s work

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