This visualization powerfully draws attention to a process of racial segregation based on the categorization and signification of a population as socially and materially toxic. Given this is an archival image and that such spatial segregation based on the objectification of certain populations as 'toxic' continues today we are reminded of how a racial purity discourse and white supremacist structure continues to violently oppress people, yet such is done in a way as to appear convivial and innocent even though it is anything but.
This visualization and caption advance ethnographic insight by revealing a piece of a methanol plant isolated from its complex. This out of context perspective allows the viewer to more fully reflect on both the scale of the production process, as well as the entire supply chain infrastructure required. The un-natural aesthetics of the structure in this format also communicate or foreshadow the toxicity of petrochemical production and emissions. Presented in a mundane surrounding the structure is ominous and unfamiliar which makes the viewer think critically about its function— versus images of petrochemical complexes, which often have a certain, almost normalized image, and this familiarity can limit an understanding or troubling of the actual production method, or the substances produced.
This is a visualization of a protest about classification, land-use and toxic industry within a toxic political economy. Note the critical commentary for this artifact differs from the commentary embedded in the photo essay. I will refer to the more expansive caption from the essay in my comments.
The visualization and caption convey the mundanity of toxicity--the little fires that do not seem important yet are indicative of a much broader issue of "wildfires" as responsible for destroying hundreds of hectares of forest, not merely small patches due to traditional burning practices. That which is used as part of a traditional practice (fires) also has the potential to unleash devastation, as well as render certain groups of people scapegoats for the cause of the fires ("small" cattle owners). The visualization potentially points to the toxicity of narratives surrounding farmers and their traditional practices as propogated by the government and/or others managing the hegemonic discourse. The devastation of the Earth is thus rendered interconnected to the devastation of relations between people.
This visualization presents political apathy on climate change by showing the political leaders of Tamil Nadu participating in a discrete event: a ritual praying for rain. The critical commentary is dense and layered. If I understand correctly, the critique of political apathy centers on a critique on inadequate governance and infrastructure to address cycles of flooding and drought in chennai. Yet the photo shows political leaders engaged in an action—its effectiveness in doubt—but they are not displaying apathy. The disjunction provocates. Embedded in this caption is an argument about governance, effectiveness, science, culture...that opens worlds of inquiry.
The image, a newsletter from the 1950s, shows us the detail with which certain spaces propogated specific communities to invest in certain futures. Strinkingly, the newsletter ties up the quality of (social, public) housing with "WHO" lives in it, and there is little room for ambiguity in the depiction that accompanies the text: blond-headed white children. The community called to invest in making Manhattanville a "better place to live in" will first and foremost (as made clear by the size of the font) do so by "bet[ting]" on themselves, by embodying through their very "whiteness" a better[ment]".
This image is a piece of ethnographic evidence in that it exposes what is actually contained in the idea of "better", "blight"-free housing infrastructure: the materiality of the derilict and blighted housing to be transformed, but also and more importantly still, the "undesired" inhabitants that beg for replacement.
This visualisation communicates the many layers, unwieldy infrastructures and various technologies that petrochemical companies rely on to assmble their phyiscal structures in particular places. It points to the megaprojects spanning the globe that are behind the idea of a single 'company.'
This visualisation is particularly rich and includes contrasting images as well as an extensive caption that theorises but also brings in voices other than the author's. This is a powerful way of communicating the schisms occuring in Austin through contradictions between discourse and action on the part of the city, and the way this affects the residents that get excluded in the process.
The visualisation shows us political leaders of an area experiencing both floodings and water shortages engaged in a ritual to address the water scarcity. The argument is that this amounts to political apathy, and we get a sense that this is all these leaders do in this regard.
Image 3 and its attendant caption skillfully highlights the schisms between how the city of Austin imagines itself in anti-racist terms and the lived experiences of its African American residents. Just because you say it (or in this case, show it) doesn't make it so. The visualization also demonstrates how environmental injustice continues to persist not despite of liberal narratives and praxis, but because of them.