Environmental hazards, materialities, and mobility justice: Insights from Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains

26.01.2023 18:00

Mobility Lecture #14 mit Suzy Blondin

The presentation discusses the expanding field of climate mobilities, which explores the nexus between climate change, environmental conditions and (im)mobility based on the 'mobilities paradigm'. Environmental hazards collide with transportation infrastructures, for instance through the adverse effects of floods, heat waves, and ice thawing on roads, and may for instance disrupt or hamper everyday mobility. Frequent disaster-induced mobility impairments may render individuals unable to commute between places and decrease their socioeconomic opportunities. Yet, short-scale/everyday (im)mobilities are rarely addressed within the field of climate mobilities. Emphasising the material aspects of mobilities, this presentation argues that an analysis of mobility systems helps to develop a deeper understanding of (im)mobility inequalities and injustices in the context of environmental risk and climate change.

Sheller's mobility justice perspective is taken as a way to critically address mobility disruptions and to reflect on the interconnection of different (im)mobility patterns. (Im)mobility on one scale may influence or condition (im)mobility on other scales, and it is therefore crucial to examine mobility systems (made of infrastructures, moorings, circulations, flows, systems of governance, and ideologies among others) to delve into the links between environmental conditions and (im)mobilities. Empirically, the presentation draws on a case-study of Tajikistan's Bartang Valley, where disaster-induced mobility impairments reduce the residents' capacities to circulate and access food markets, healthcare facilities, and job opportunities. In Bartang, mobility disruptions prompt  residents to migrate or at least to move for protracted durations in order to look for opportunities elsewhere.

Overall, the presentation is an invitation for the fields of environmental and climate mobilities to consider the impacts of environmental conditions on infrastructures, matter, and things that enable or hamper human (im)mobility.

Dr. Suzy Blondin is a geographer based in Switzerland (University of Neuchâtel/HEP Fribourg) whose work examines the intersections between climate change and im/mobilities in rural/mountainous contexts, place attachment and socio-ecological relationships, and also geography teaching in the context of the Anthropocene. In her research, she has been using ethnographic, mobile and 'creative' methodologies. Her recent work has been published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Mobilities, and Geoforum.

Diese Veranstaltung findet hybrid statt. Der Link zum Zoom-Stream:

Meeting ID: 646 9943 5620
Passcode: 351478

hybrid - Schreyvogelsaal, Hofburg, Batthyanystiege (dome next to Michaelerplatz, staircase to the right of the Sisi Museum, 1st floor)