As the world faces urgent climate change, paradigms of "sustainable" development are rapidly being replaced by concepts of environmental resilience among policy actors, non-governmental organizations, and startups alike. To enable cities, communities, or entire nations to better manage and anticipate the impacts of climate change, this trend is often linked to ideas of green growth and green development. In this way, climate capitalism is also hunting Phnom Penh's green urban policy. Cambodia faces massive challenges in dealing with climate change impacts, such as flooding at the city level, due to its "dysfunctional" waste management and wastewater treatment system in the city. However, my research has shown that the thousands of urban waste pickers provide a well-functioning infrastructure and that the responsibility for "cleaning up" the city is subject to a process of commodification determined by how the future of the city is envisioned. In this talk, I will elaborate on processes of waste responsibilisation, based on waste fantasies, that are contrasted by grey and oozy leakages and waste picker’s interferences into the urban.
Date: Nov 27, 2023 Time: 1.30 pm @USSH Ho Chi Minh City, Faculty of Anthropology