On this episode of Environment in Context, Huma Gupta and Danya al-Saleh speak to Nadia Christidi, a PhD candidate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and an arts practitioner. Her dissertation research explores how cities that face water supply challenges, which are expected to intensify with climate change, are imagining, planning, and preparing for the future of water; the cities she focuses on are Los Angeles, Dubai, and Cape Town.

How do we imagine, think about, and represent environmental crises around water and climate change? Water management and climate change have previously been considered the exclusive purview of environmental scientists, engineers, economists, security analysts, or policymakers. However, Nadia Christidi explains how an anthropological approach can help us understand the political practices and economic rationalities of water governance based on her fieldwork in Dubai. Specifically, we discuss how these ecological imaginaries around water are conditioned by social and political forces, ranging from considering water to be an infinite resource, a commodity that is produced, or an extreme landscape that serves as a testbed for technological innovation.

1. Nadia Christidi's Website:
2. Gökçe Günel. “The Infinity of Water: Climate Change Adaptation in the Arabian Peninsula.” Public Culture 28.2 (May 2016): 291-315.
3. Michael Christopher Low. “Desert Dreams of Drinking the Sea, Consumed by the Cold War: Transnational Flows of Desalination and Energy from the Pacific to the Persian Gulf.” Environment and History 26.2 (May 2020): 145-174.
4. Toby Craig Jones. Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.
5. Candis Callison. How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

Direct download: Christidi_Interview_Final_Master_1.mp3
Category:Politics -- posted at: 9:00am EST