Mon, 5 October 2020
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.