Atelier | Habitable Air

Atelier | Habitable Air

Atelier | Habitable Air

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Atelier | Habitable Air

Co-organisé par Kerry R. Chance, l’atelier « Habitable Air  » proposera les 14 et 15 septembre des présentations et des échanges autour de la question des inégalités urbaines à l’heure du changement climatique. 

Habitable Air: Urban Inequality in the Time of Climate Change

“Habitable Air” is a project that addresses the under-analyzed relationship between three urgent issues: (1) the rapid growth of urban inequality; (2) the amplification of political divisions in major democracies; and (3) the increasing impact of pollution and global warming. Our project’s primary objective is to examine how the urban poor, living on the margins of a jointly owned petrochemical company in South Africa, Germany, and the U.S., manage the cultural and corporeal dynamics of chemical air pollution. Our secondary objective is to analyze how long-standing struggles over industrial toxicity are newly being shaped as climate science becomes increasingly integral to contemporary governance. The project uses qualitative methods – including ethnographic participant observation and the analysis of historical archival documents – at a scale that only quantitative studies of climate change have yet achieved by working within a clear network of scientists, policymakers, workers, and residents in transnational sites. The project makes a theoretical contribution about the complex ways industrial toxicity intersects with global warming by shifting the focus to ordinary citizens, their practices and interactions, as they grapple with an industry that is at the center of their lives and community debates about their own health and that of the planet. By studying networked citizen practices and interactions as key drivers for reordering urban life and politics, as well as in what ways they fail or are effective, we may better be able to dismantle a homogenized view of air pollution across borders to help create more equitable and sustainable cities.

Through major publications, teaching and training, a documentary film, policy briefs, media outreach, public workshops, and an international symposium, the project will produce actionable knowledge to build cooperation between the public, governments, and marginalized communities. The project workshop serves a critical twofold purpose: to enable research exchange, while developing a shared approach to comparative analysis. The project workshop serves a critical twofold purpose: to enable research exchange, while developing a shared approach to comparative analysis. Researchers will present a 10-15-minute talk about their work to-date, and how it connects to the project theme.


Kerry Ryan Chance (University of Bergen, Norway/B. Marie Curie)
Sharad Chari (U.C. Berkeley, U.S.A.)
Laurence Ralph (Princeton University, U.S.A.)Ajantha Subramanian (Harvard University, U.S.A.)
Charlotte Bruckermann (Cologne University, Germany)
Bjørn Bertlesen (University of Bergen, Norway)
Mareike Winchell (University of Chicago, USA)
Courtney Morris (U.C. Berkeley, U.S.A.)
Jessica Judson (School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, USA)
Kefiloe Sello (University of Bergen, Norway)
Stefan Samuel Madabe Heimstad Ogedengbe (University of Bergen, Norway)
Adam Hasan (U.C.-Berkeley, U.S.A.)
Sibahle Ndwayana (U.C.-Berkeley, U.S.A)
Felix Lussem (Cologne University, Germany)
Dara Kell (documentary filmmaker – New York City, U.S.A./Cape Town, South Africa)

Informations pratiques

14 et 15 septembre 2022 – de 10h à 15h30

Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH)
54 Boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris

Contact :

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About the author:

Logo Université de Paris
Centre d'anthropologie culturelle
45 rue des Saints-Pères
75270 Paris cedex 06

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