“All this actually works. I mean there was so much that we didn’t know, that we still don’t know. There were so many mistakes that the industry made at the beginning. Look at Vienna, where there were some really, really bad mistakes in the 1980s. There was so much planning and preparation and calculation that went into this – and it really just works. My wish is simply for it to just be able to keep working as it has been.”
If a key challenge of slow violence is how to adequately represent it so that it may be investigated, opposed, and redressed why represent its power as more formidable than it already is? There is poetry in the law, but legal personhood for corporations is not magic. It’s infrastructure.
Rob Nixon’s book shows how the invisible, destructive impacts of neoliberalism stretch across vast spatial and temporal scales. Within this history, profits are internalized and risks exacerbated as they are offloaded on poor communities.
Being able to identify the materials in waste, its location, and its effects are the first steps in making decisions about waste. But all three of those abilities have been “gutted” by the Canadian federal government’s “war on science.”
Like queer theory, discard studies is interested in uneven remainders, things that don’t fit neatly into categories. Both concern themselves with the strange and imperfect construction of divisions that do violence to humans, cultures, and environments, while still attending to the fact that these divisions have meaning for people, that they are strategic, and that they structure our thought in ways that are almost impossible to escape.