by Cristóbal Bonelli With the notion of heterotopia Foucault describes spaces that are somehow “different”, mirroring and yet distinguishing themselves from what is outside, like gardens, cemeteries, or ships. Heterotopias are places of imagination, escape, otherness and a microcosm of different environments. Cristobal Bonelli found his own heterotopia in the IHE library, during the presentation of the book “Water, Technology and the Nation-State”.
On the occasion of world water day, this opinion piece critically reflects on the recent resurgence of the “water wars” narrative in policy and media circles and questions its timing, purpose and the evidence on which it is based.
By Emanuele Fantini, Filippo Menga and Ana Elisa Cascão Tensions escalated recently between Ethiopia and Egypt around the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). In this controversy, the media is not only the space where the conflict publicly unfolds, but also one of the main players in shaping it. A few months ago, the authors started a conversation on these topics. Now, it continues here. Emanuele: At the end of October, I attended for the first time the Nile Basin Development Forum and […]
by Joe Williams The water-energy-food nexus has become a powerful framework for sustainable development that seeks to integrate the management of resource sectors for increased efficiency. However, its current mobilisation is fundamentally de-politicising, overlooking the contradictions and injustices of resource governance The water, energy and food sectors are, of course, deeply connected. Agriculture accounts for around 70% of total freshwater use globally. Huge amounts of energy is consumed in withdrawing, treating, transporting, using and disposing of water. The food production and supply chain uses about […]
By Jevgeniy Bluwstein and Rebecca Rutt* The Flint Water Crisis led to different forms of grassroots activism demanding political accountability, transparency and redress. Yet residents’ experiences, and their needs and demands in response to the crisis, were and continue to be suppressed in multiple ways. Since 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan, has been at the centre of what has become known as the Flint Water Crisis. After an unelected technocrat decided to switch Flint’s water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the […]
By Patrick Bresnihan * Throughout the globe a revolution is taking place as people organise to resist the privatisation of water. In a spirit of shared struggle against privatisation (in its many forms), on 23rd June a day-long ‘Thinkery’ at the University College Cork, Ireland, will explore differences in approach and attitude in anti-privatisation struggles mobilized around water.
By Stefania Barca* Like all history writing—and much of science-making itself—environmental history cannot help but be political. Stefania Barca reflects on the political implications of what environmental historians do.
A diverse range of social and environmental collectives have come together in the past few years in Barcelona to form the Alliance Against Energy Poverty, successfully mobilising and fighting to stop energy and water cuts for families unable to pay their bills.*
The socio-political nature of disease can be silenced, especially when there is a lack of strong civil society networks and/or scientific data to help reclaim public health. Relevant and effective responses to disease can only emerge with the involvement of people whose health is at stake and through contextualised, historicised and politicised health studies. *
Hydropower projects, disguised and depoliticized as green and sustainable, are being imposed as a development solution across the Himalayas. The dam conflicts presented here illustrate how civil society groups have become political actors, rising up against assaults on democracy.*
What if environmental conflicts do not manifest themselves? The Cobre Las Cruces mining company has managed to access and control common water resources thanks to a top-down, technocratic version of science, which silences social conflict.*