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‘Extractive bodies’: a feminist counter-topography of two extractive landscapes

Postar, Stephanie and Behzadi, Negar Elodie (2024) ‘Extractive bodies’: a feminist counter-topography of two extractive landscapes. Geoforum, 148. ISSN 0016-7185

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2022.09.005


This article engages in a discussion about the ‘quieter registers of power’ along the resource frontier. It builds a feminist counter-topography of the formation of extractive subjectivities in two extractive landscapes—a uranium mining project in Tanzania and a coal mining area in Tajikistan. We explore these two disparate but connected sites through the formation of embodied subjectivities—i.e., the ways in which extractive forces shape people’s intimate senses of self. In both places, embodied emotions manifest in rumours about gender, sexuality and reproduction. To re-materialise our understandings of power at the extractive frontier, we offer the concept of ‘extractive bodies’—a plural figure representing the heterogeneous, dynamic and porous bodies of men, women, children and the elderly as shaped by extractive forces. We also read the rumours emerging from these two places as quiet, but not silent, forms of resistance. These rumours are material and symbolic expressions of a ‘mal de vivre’ which is symptomatic of how people live at the extractive frontier. Overall, this counter-topography contributes to feminist political ecology scholarship on the embodied impacts of and responses to extraction on the resource frontier.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s).
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2022 11:09
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2024 02:09

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