Between Political Geology and Geologic Politics: Mining Hashima

Authors: Deborah Dixon*, University of Glasgow
Topics: Anthropocene
Keywords: political, geology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Galerie 1, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The 'inhuman' problematics of the Anthropocene have prompted important questions around the the work undertaken by the 'geo' in geopolitics, a field of inquiry and practice that encompasses a hands-on experimentation with planetary (even cosmic) processes as well as statecraft, border-making and negotiation. "The idea of the Anthropocene,” Nigel Clark observes, might well be taken as "a prompt to consider the very limits of the political, and the challenge of dealing with forces that exceed the effective scope or reach of any polity” (2014: 1). In this paper, I use the case of Hashima, mined by Mitsubishi, to pursue some of the deep asymmetries amidst those forces and intensities that compose the site, and its peeling apart as the materialised temporalities of anthracite, concrete, plastic, flesh, bones, memory slide past each other. What this case also, prompts, however, is a caution: in considering how a classical notion of geopolitics can be expanded into a geologically-inclined geo-politics, it is as well to bear in mind the geopolitics of geology in the process.

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