This image of a storm water outflow underlies the way toxicity travels - a toxic “site” or “place” is never fully static, rippling and flowing in sometimes unexpected ways. National stories on Flint have so often focused on certain imagery (pipes, sinks and bathtubs filled with brown water), so it’s fascinating to see how toxicity in this context constitutes much broader social and ecological ecosystems.
Is shows that toxic places are not necessarily contaminated by a physical chemical - but can be toxic because of the absence of something (in this case representation) as well as the presence of something.
I'm very interested in how your choice of images and captions demonstrate the ways "place" becomes a slippery term when thinking through toxicity. Is the West Lake landfill just a landfill? No, far from it. It is both a physical and conceptual place, where memories, relations of proximity, and histories of labor, capital, and property are interwoven. I particularly appreciated your breakdown of the landfill's Google page, especially its reviews and titular image. What is the affective role of sarcasm, irony, and humor happening here?
This image places hope and solidarity in the center of a struggle against toxicity. The subjects are standing, smiling, touching eachother, some have arms crossed. They form a wall, a semi-circle, a confrontation, but appear welcoming because of their expressions. It seems that the message of this photo is less to inform readers of the article about details of the incident and is more to reassure. If you are reading this publication, you are not alone. Here are more than two dozen people, smiling in the face of encroaching toxicity, who are on your side.
This image and its caption demonstrate the long journey for the ethnographer to the field site, in this case quite literally. Your journey started at a conference some time before (it is not clear when the photo was taken - this could be useful information in the caption perhaps) when you first met Dr. Mar. But it also required there having to be a field trip to be invited on, being invited to attend the field trip, and the slightly more obvious physical journey including undertaking a multi-mode transport route to get there.