Wasting the West is the first infra-demos short documentary. It aims to give an ethnographically grounded perspective of the least known part of the wider Athens metropolitan complex: West Attica. Focusing on the Fyli landfill – the only active waste infrastructure in the Attica region— the film describes how the governance of waste goes hand-in-hand with environmental degradation, corporate power and socio-spatial marginalisation (Dalakoglou & Kallianos 2014).
Built around the narration of Tasos Kefalas, a long-standing participant in local grassroots movements, Wasting the West examines the operation and governance of waste infrastructures in Western Attica in relation to the wider political economy and history of contemporary Athenian infrastructural and spatial development (see Dalakoglou & Kallianos 2018).
Of interest here are the ways in which pre-existing forms of infrastructure governance play out in times of crisis. The 2008 financial crisis had a significant impact on the maintenance and development of critical infrastructural networks, resulting in an infrastructural gap in western Europe. This video traces the roots of this relationship to the historically uneven spatial development of Attica. The latest so-called ‘golden decade’ of public works (Tarpagos 2010) – between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s – went hand-in-hand with unjust development that led to a crisis continuum in the West. Today, in West Attica, a multiplicity of heavy industrial and infrastructural operations coexist with communities who have limited access to public services and infrastructures.
By attending to the social class inequalities and socio-spatial divisions within Attica, Wasting the West, addresses the relationship between modes of (in)visibility and infrastructure within the context of urban governance. Overall, Wasting the West touches upon the ways in which infrastructural dynamics cut across various scales and contexts (Star 1999; Larkin 2013) indicating that it is often through socio-technical systems that power relations and regimes of injustice and inequality are co-shaped and employed (Graham and Marvin 2001; McFarlane and Rutherford 2008).
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Dalakoglou D and Kallianos Y (2018). ‘Eating mountains’ and ‘eating each other’: Disjunctive modernization, infrastructural imaginaries and crisis in Greece. Political Geography, 67, 76-87.
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Tarpagos A (2010). “Constructions: From the “golden decade” (1994-2004) to the crisis of over accumulation (2004-2008) and to the collapse (2008-2010) [in Greek]. Theses, 113(1–2), 133–144. Available at: http://www.theseis.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1129