Infrastructural Contestation, Harm and Infrastructuring:
An infra-demos workshop,
June 11, 15:00-17:00 (GMT+2)
A Zoom presentation and discussion with infra-demos team
In the context of the events organized by the VU Department of Anthropology for its MOBB (Mobility, Beliefs, Belonging) week. The NWO-Vidi project infra-demos.net which is based at the VU department of social and cultural anthropology will present in a workshop some of its findings and research.
The principal investigator of infra-demos, Prof. Dimitris Dalakoglou and the research fellows Yannis Kallianos and Christos Giovanopoulos, will discuss several aspects of the project. The mini-documentary 'Wasting the West' will be screened and the anthropologist and film-maker of the project Spyros Gerousis will also be present.
Join Zoom Meeting:
D. Dalakoglou - is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: D. Dalakoglou -'s Zoom Meeting
Time: Jun 11, 2021 04:00 PM Athens
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 992 5153 4701
One tap mobile
Meeting ID: 992 5153 4701
Find your local number: https://vu-live.zoom.us/u/ahMVNlhJG
Yannis Kallianos the postdoc researcher of infra-demos.net just published an article in the recent issue of Antipode journal titled: The Everyday and the Evental Public Space: Rethinking the Spatiotemporal Modalities of Radical Political Events (co-authored with Dr Mattia Fumanti of St Andrews University.
' Recent mass mobilizations and civil unrest events around the globe have brought to the fore the complex relationship between political practices and public space. These indicate a critique of representative democracy, authoritarian governance, and precarious living conditions, as well as entailing new ways of doing and conceptualising politics.'
Read full article here
On Thursday, 6th of February the PI of infra-demos presented on the behalf of the team the paper 'Defining and Classifying Infrastructural Contestation: Towards a Synergy Between Anthropology and Data Science' in Wageningen University Data Sciences Week.
Blog by Christos Giovanopoulos
The infra-demos team just published the first article on the concept of infrastructural contestation, including both first datasets and their visualisation along a brief introduction to our conceptual-theoretical scheme, a longer contribution on that matter is forthcoming.
From the abstract: The last decade infrastructure systems have been under strain around the globe. The 2008financial crisis, the so-called fourth industrial revolution,ongoing urbanisation and climate change have contributed to the emergence of an infrastructural crisis that has been labelled as infrastructural gap. During this period, infrastructure systems have increasingly become sites of public contestation with significant effects on their operation and governance. At stake has been the issues of access to infrastructure, their social and environmental con-sequences and the ‘modern ideal’ embodied in the design of those socio-technical systems. With this paper we apply a cross-disciplinary methodology in order to document and define the practices of this new wave of infrastructural contestation, taking Greece in the 2008–2017 period as the case study. The synthesis of quantitative and qualitative datasets with ethnographic knowledge help us, furthermore, to record tendencies and patterns in the ongoing phenomenon of infrastructural contestation.
Full reference: Giovanopoulos, C., Kallianos, Y., Athanasiadis, I., & Dalakoglou, D. (2020). Defining and classifying infrastructural contestation: Towards a synergy between anthropology and data science. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 554.
Click here for full article available at VU's research portal as part of the open access policy of the institute.
Wasting the West is an infra-demos short documentary focusing on the Fyli landfill. It describes how the governance of waste in the Attica region goes hand in hand with environmental degradation, corporate power and socio-spatial marginalization.
infra-demos is an anthropological project based at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam that studies the interrelationships between infrastructures, governance, and socio-technological forms of civil participation and contestation in times of crisis in Greece.
Wasting the West is
Directed by Spyros Gerousis
Produced and Researched by Spyros Gerousis, Yannis Kallianos and Dimitris Dalakoglou.
Blog by Christos Giovanopoulos
The four-day long Festival of Mutuality was held last October 10 to 13 at Turin and Pinerolo in north Italy. The two cities hold an historical significance as it was the birthplace of the first workers’ mutual help societies (Società Operaia di Mutuo Soccorso, SOMS). The festival was co-organized by the SOMS di Pinerolo and the SOMS d’ambo i sessi “Edomondo De Amicis”. The former was the first mutual-help society to be founded in the Italian peninsula, or more precisely in what was then the kingdom of Savoia, in 12 October 1848, while the latter was founded in Turin in July 1908. The mutual-help societies played an important role in both the making of the working class and, or rather through, its welfare organisations. The latter would incubate both the labor union organising and gradually (by the mid-20th century) the welfare state as we know it.
However, while the development of the public welfare model led to the disappearance of the vast majority of those mutual help societies, during the recent crisis new grassroots solidarity networks have emerged foregrounding the issue of mutualism and its important role once more. In this context the festival tried to reflect on past and current experiences, to draw parallels and differences and to discuss and investigate the role of mutualism and solidarity in changing and shaping our societies and our future today. Thus the festival’s rich program included talks and debates by academics and activists alike as well as diverse cultural events inspired by the mutualistic movement.
Among those invited was Christos Giovanopoulos from infrademos, to talk on the experience of the Greek grassroots solidarity networks which appeared during the crisis and their relation to mutualism. More precisely he was invited to participate in two events. The first was held on in the premises of SOMS “Edomondo De Amicis” in Turin and examined the role of mutualism in the past and today. Among the invited panelists was also Salvatore Cannavo, author of the Mutualismo, Ritorno al futuro per la sinistra. The second event was held in Pinerolo, the main site of the festival and where a museum of the workers’ mutualistic movement is hosted. The panel included academics and activists from new and active solidarity and mutualistic collectives and discussed the role of women, refugees and the youth in current examples of mutualism. At the same time, it reflected on the new contexts that mutualism appears today and subsequently on the new meanings that it acquires, or it needs to, when new subjects and communities involve in its practice.
The aim of the festival was to bring together old and new examples, activists and intellectuals, in an effort to enhance the connections and the network building between the mutualistic organisations and practices in Italy. While such aims go beyond the capacities of a festival, fact is that such events confirm the return of mutualism and solidarity as foundational principles and ingredients in the quest for social change and participation. Moreover, such events hold their own, miniscule as it may be, role in fostering the infrastructural capacities of the people and their communities to better their lives - following the old workers’ mutual-help societies model which informed the infrastructuring of the modern welfare services.
infra-demos on June 6th participated in the annual meeting of the Dutch Anthropological Association. The Principal Investigator of infra-demos, Dimitris Dalakoglou was one of the three speakers of the final and plenary session of the meeting which had as its theme Anthropologists engage with the Future and spoke about the project among other things. The conferee was held in the Research Center for Material Culture of Leiden University.
The PI was invited as well by the Greek national radio show Mikri Thalassini on 17th of June where he talked about the recent infra-demos report on the extraction of hydrocarbons in North West Greece (Epirus).
The radio show's podcast is available here.