Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

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In March , journalist Dahr Jamail showed pictures of babies from Fallujah, Iraq: babies with two heads, with half of their internal organs outside of their bodies, and cyclops babies with one eye. Yet, cluster bombs have replaced landmines. Slow Violence is an important contribution to the growing field of ecocriticism. Nixon first acknowledges the strong link that now exists between long-established environmental history and ecocriticism, and then points out the need to build a bridge between environmental studies and social sciences.

Saro-Wiwa had expected tobacco to kill him […].

The Varieties of Environmental Violence - Los Angeles Review of Books

He went on to become a prolific writer. Shell and other oil companies, in partnership with the Nigerian government, meanwhile, went on to plunder and ravage the Ogoni homeland. Yet some 90 million Nigerians 64 percent of the population have received little benefit — they survive on less than a dollar a day.

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Their environment air, water, and land has become severely poisoned by natural gas burning and oil spills. In addition to the deaths caused by the oil companies, in , after an anti-Shell rally, the Nigerian regime razed 27 villages, killing 2, Ogoni people and displacing 80, others.

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The Ogoni comprise only about 0. Initially, Greenpeace and Amnesty International ignored his appeal. The incident prompted international outrage against Abacha and Shell. Nixon further broadens the scope of ecocriticism by bringing postcolonial studies to the table. To challenge a despotic nation-state can be life-threatening.

Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011)

In the United States, Cities of Salt was reviewed harshly. The first journey is autobiographical, and Nixon is an exquisite storyteller.


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  4. His story is light, funny, but ends with a twisted tragedy. One day he went to meet J. Klienhans, an Afrikaner who had created a private hunting lodge.

    1st EH Book Chat: Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

    Six months after Nixon visited the lodge, Kleinhans was killed by two of his lions. Nixon describes the Chipko movement, which took place in the Garwhal Himalayas of Uttarakhand in the s, mobilized to save trees from commercial exploitation. Few environmental justice movements went from local to global as quickly and as widely as the Chipko movement. Guha and Vandana Shiva gave the movement a powerful voice; the former through his widely acclaimed book, The Unquiet Woods , and the latter by telling the story of the Chipko women all over the world.

    Indeed, how do we deal with the messiness of the local as we bring in a transnational perspective on slow violence?


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    In addition to engaging with writer-activists, which Nixon has done so well, we should also engage with local knowledge. What have the local people to say?

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    What have they written? Ta kontakt med Kundesenteret. Avbryt Send e-post. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor Rob Nixon The violence wrought by climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Using the innovative concept of "slow violence" to describe these threats, Rob Nixon focuses on the inattention we have paid to the attritional lethality of many environmental crises, in contrast with the sensational, spectacle-driven messaging that impels public activism today.

    Environmental Humanities Book Chat: Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

    Les mer. Om boka The violence wrought by climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Slow violence, because it is so readily ignored by a hard-charging capitalism, exacerbates the vulnerability of ecosystems and of people who are poor, disempowered, and often involuntarily displaced, while fueling social conflicts that arise from desperation as life-sustaining conditions erode.

    In a book of extraordinary scope, Nixon examines a cluster of writer-activists affiliated with the environmentalism of the poor in the global South.

    By approaching environmental justice literature from this transnational perspective, he exposes the limitations of the national and local frames that dominate environmental writing. And by skillfully illuminating the strategies these writer-activists deploy to give dramatic visibility to environmental emergencies, Nixon invites his readers to engage with some of the most pressing challenges of our time.