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The aesthetics of extractivism: violence, ecology, and sensibility in Turkey’s Kurdistan

Çaylı, Eray ORCID: 0000-0001-8113-0349 (2021) The aesthetics of extractivism: violence, ecology, and sensibility in Turkey’s Kurdistan. Antipode, 53 (5). 1377 - 1399. ISSN 0066-4812

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Focusing on dams and sand quarries, I discuss extractivism’s racialised workings along the uppermost stretch of the Tigris river in Turkey’s Kurdistan. In conversation with decolonial scholarship on “the Anthropocene”, I theorise through aesthetics the symbolic, epistemic, and corporeal violence of reducing the value of human and nonhuman life and agency to that of an extractable resource. My contribution to this scholarship involves a twofold argument. First, extractivism is upheld not only by the negation (or rendering insensible) of humans and nonhumans, but also the affirmation (or rendering excessively sensible) thereof, insofar as the latter shares the former’s racialised logic of valuing life and agency quantifiably. Second, the affirmations are not always straightforwardly territorialisable as they are often geographically entangled with the negations, particularly in times of crises that throw extractivist excesses into sharp relief. I conclude by thinking with activism to flesh out the counter-extractivist implications of my argument.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 10:09
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 03:14

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