In December 2021, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2022 the “International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development,” placing mountains – collectively perceived as acutely threatened by climate change and in need of intervention – at the center of global environmental politics. Portrayed simultaneously as ecologically fragile and economically and socially marginalized, mountains have come to be understood within the developmentalist rubrics of global policymakers as “natural infrastructures”: vital and charismatic (if problematic) sources of value and “ecosystem services” essential to planetary security, sustainability, and survival.
The time is ripe to consider mountains in a more critical light. This workshop, drawing upon selected work in media theory, philosophy, anthropology, and geography, will approach mountains not only as natural environments, ecosystems, or landscapes, but also as forms of media, technologies, or infrastructures; as potent symbols, metaphors, and representations; and as favored grounds for certain kinds of action and thought. Acknowledging the unevenly distributed environmental crisis wrought by capitalism and colonialism and the threats posed to many mountain ecosystems and communities, we will aim to move beyond and against the frameworks posed by nation-states and markets, working towards a critical lexicon of concepts which center mountains in their elemental materiality, epistemological ambiguity, ontological plurality, and symbolic potency.
Participation in the workshop is limited. To register and receive the reading materials, please send a brief message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pandemic: The event will be held in accordance with current COVID-19 regulations. The room is equipped with air filtration devices, but given the persistent viral situation, we would also like to ask you, if possible, to test yourselves with a rapid test ahead of the event.
Marina Camargo, Meta-Panorama, 2013-2018