Vortrag im Oberseminar
Dr. Valerie Hänsch (LMU München)
Worlds Falling Apart: Dam Construction in Northern Sudan, Socio-Environmental Transformations and the Struggle to Stay
The construction of high dams in Africa has tremendously increased since the turn of the new millennium. Several mega-dams have been constructed, are being under construction or planned. The implementation of large infrastructures by their very nature produces contested visions and heated sentiments ranging from the fear of displacement to joyful imaginations of productivity, connectivity and prosperity. Usually, those you are forced to leave their homelands are being confronted with dispossession and existential threats which provoke struggles for rights and to a more significant extent also struggles over competing visions of ways of life.
Based on long-term ethnographic field research (2008–2009, Nov. 2010, March 2015, March 2018) at the Fourth Nile Cataract in Northern Sudan, the paper explores the implementation of the Merowe Dam and the forced displacement of 50 000 people who used to live along the Nile. With the construction of the so-called Merowe High Dam, which was completed in 2009, the Sudanese government is pursuing a “high modernist” vision for the development of its core regions along the Nile. 70 000 people had to make way for the dam and its’ reservoir. The modernization ideologies underlying these kinds of mega-projects are justifying the displacement of local communities in the name of progress. Yet, about two third of the people I worked with resisted to resettle to governmental resettlement sites and attempted to stay in their homeland around the future reservoir. While waiting for the construction of local settlement sites, to which the Sudanese Government had agreed after long struggles, the Nile water levels started to rise in early summer 2008 and flooded the region before resettlement had taken place. Combining phenomenological and political approaches, my presentation explores how people perceived, conceptualized and dealt with the radical socio-ecological changes, the uncertainty and crisis produced by the Merowe Dam construction, the flooding and the forced eviction. I analyse how worlds of meaning (Sinn-Welten) fall apart and how these worlds are re-formed and re-configured in the process and the attempt of staying.
Wann? Montag, 09.07.2018, 18 Uhr
Wo? Institut für Ethnologie, Oettingenstraße 67, 80538 München
Raum L155 (Obergeschoss) Lageplan
Für die Veranstaltungsreihe hat Frau Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr in diesem Semester ein vielseitiges Programm mit interessanten Themen und ReferentInnen zusammengestellt. Mehr Informationen über ehemalige Vorträge am Institut für Ethnologie finden Sie im „Veranstaltungsarchiv".