Towards atmospheric care: Undoing environmental violence, experimenting with ecologies of support
Convenors: Tomás Criado (Open University of Catalonia), Elisabeth Luggauer (Humboldt-University of Berlin) & Emma Garnett (University of Exeter)
Discussant: Janina Kehr (University of Vienna)
Anthropogenic atmospheric phenomena (heat, hurricanes, pollutants, wildfires) pose increasing challenges to multispecies inhabitation. How is care re-invented when undoing the patchy effects of environmental violence? We aim to discuss anthropological experiments with ‘ecologies of support’.
Due to anthropogenic intervention atmospheric phenomena, such as air pollutants, heat, hurricanes, thunderstorms or wildfires are every day more – albeit in some contexts more than others – posing impossible challenges to collective inhabitation, human, and other-than-human. This panel wishes to ask what forms of care and enduring are being repurposed and invented when relating to the many challenges these atmospheric conditions pose, attempting to undo the patchy effects of environmental violence.
In approaches to human and multispecies care in anthropology, environmental humanities and STS, the use of ecological tropes (e.g. landscapes) abounds to describe changing or complex social and material configurations, but what might it mean to re-think care as an atmospheric matter? Talking of ‘ecologies of support’ we wish to account for experimentation with generative and unsettled care responses to atmospheric phenomena that are hard to apprehend, due to their sheer phenomenological ungraspability (because of either their temporal or spatial scales: too fast, too slow, caught in between deep and shallow time, microscopic or gigantic, happening in non-coherent or non-unitary ways), hence requiring a vast array of devices and collective work to articulate or to become sensitized to them.
Beyond conceptual takes, we seek to foster a range of explorations and responses where anthropology could become an atmospheric care practice. Thus, we would also like to welcome approaches to collaborative, public, more-than-textual ethnographic works in a wide variety of guises and atmospheric topics experimenting with setting up ecologies of support in their own right.