Corporeal Landscapes: Discourse, Memory, and Embodiment In Mexico's Changing Climate



I am interested in studying the embodied and affective manifestations of climate change in addition to evaluating the landscapes and environments that are also viewed as embodying the changes of climate change. My interests therefore lie within the human-non-human networks of affective entanglements. In going forward with visualizing this project, I will be building upon my past preliminary research done in Coamiles, Nayarit, Mexico with ejidatarios. I will specifically be attempting to visualize the ways in which the ejidatarios that I worked with (many of whom are 40 years or older) have aged and transformed alongside and because of the land/landscapes they work and engage with. In attempting to visualize this, I hope to illustrate the everyday, intimate, and possibly even mundane changes in both body and land that ejidatarios experience and articulate as climate change. I find this pertinent to the work of visualizing toxic subjects since it forces us to look into the forms of toxicity we may possibly look over, that being the slow, bodily experiences of aging bodies. I also hope to illustrate how these more quotidian narratives compare to how climate change is popularly imagined. In doing so, I aspire to locate where the everyday experience of farmers lie within broader Anthropocene and climate change debates. I will thus primarily be utilizing on my own personal photography, the images produced by the farmers themselves, in addition to archival material.



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Rain, Family, and Sensory Experience: Imagining Quotidian Climate Change

Caption: Brother and Sister Escape Rain Storm. 

This image is of Pancha and Chon Alanis, brother and sister, taken during my preliminary feildwork in Coamiles, Nayarit, Mexico. I chose this image particularly because it does something that I have difficulty capturing textually, it vividly captures weather as well as bodily/sensorial experience. It also gives the observer an opportunity to visualize the field as an affective plane, where affect is being transmitted through environment, bodies present, and bodies viewing. 

As my project attempts to articulate the everyday experiences, memories, affects, and embodiments that eventually become the foundations for which farmers are able to describe, pinpoint, and make real climate change, I fixate on images like these which capture moments which eventually become memories of "climate change." These visualizations are thus intended to be images of retrospect, in which climate change becomes articulated as the changes within one's lifetime. 

Imagining Climate Change

Caption: Collage of "Climate Change" Google Search. 

This collage brings together numerous images from goolge searches of "climate change" in order to visualize how climate change is being popularly imagined, explained, and experienced. In many instances, these images appear right away, often indicating the most recent news reports on climate change. Through these searches one can see how climate change, at a quick glance, is  being represented through juxtapositions between quotidian imagery and foreboding descriptions. Images of children, farmers, and icebergs are coupled with descriptors such as "grim," "dire," and "crisis." 

By using this as one of my own ethnographic images I hope to illustrate how climate change happens simultaneously in our imaginaries as apocalyptic specticle and everyday slow violence. I also hope to drive forward the question: how can we bridge the gap between the spectacular and the everyday? 


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Created date

November 24, 2018