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Meeting marine debris at the coast: Heterogeneous network and in/visibility of marine plastics

Authors: Jihye Kim*, Seoul National University
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Anthropocene, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: coast, feminist studies, more-than-human world, Plasticocene, marine debris
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

‘Plasticocene’ is another name of the Anthropocene and ontological terminology of the life which cannot avoid plastics. In particular, marine plastics is considered as a strong evidence of polluted ocean and it garners attention of related scientists, activists, states, international organizations and so on. Images like a sea turtle entangled with plastic debris and thousand plastics inside a dead whale bring the sense of response-ability. Non-artificial mobility of artifacts produce new practices and networks. The network is a momentary assemblage calling scientists, conservationists, fishermen, governments, media, institutions, birds, aquaculture, fish, sea mammals and other innumerous and heterogeneous actors. This study explores forms of life and production of knowledge about the coast with marine debris by tracking partial connections among various actors whose worlds have remainders (Strathern, 1981). In this case, the materiality of ocean affects the ‘plastic coasts’ not only because it de-constructs the border but also makes the patterns, currents, which is able to make a space of an excuse as well as to form transnational alliances easily. Also, this study analyzes differential of scales and perspectives among 'human beings' with different apparatus and effects made by plastics which keeps breaking down but does not lose its structures. Using feminist STS methodology and more-than-human approach, it aims to figure out the production of specific space between ocean and land mediated by non-organic things, or plastics, and ethical practices triggered by encountering the marine debris at the coast.

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