Master of social sciences Gataulina Iuliia

217500 €

Pluriversal waters: Tracing hydro-ontologies across colonial-extractivist assemblages

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

This postdoctoral research project analyses different ways of being (with), governing, and exploiting water in the contexts of colonial extractivisms and seeks ways to rethink water from decolonial, relational, and ecological perspectives. The research project departs from Latin American studies on decolonizing water and seeks to enrich the scholarship on water ontologies from the contexts of Global North (Northern Europe) and Global East (Central Asia) . The project inquires into colonial-extractivist practices of water exploitation through case studies of 1) mining and related to it water degradation in Northern Finland and 2) extractivist practices in the Aral Sea in the Karakalpakstan autonomous region of Uzbekistan. In order to analyze the ways in which water is governed, exploited, and lived with, this research project applies three interconnected concepts: hydro-ontology, pluriversality, and assemblage. Colonial-extractivist regimes of political and economic governance are analyzed as assemblages, i.e. the mechanisms of power composed of human and non-human elements, e.g. water, land, humans, water management regulations, national laws, and resource extraction and production companies. The concept of pluriversality aims to capture different ontological projects of these actors in relation to water, hydro-ontologies. In order to pay attention to the entangled ontological realities and different ways of being with water, this research utilizes non-local ethnography. Moreover, the research project collaborates with the visual artists in analyzing, producing, and communicating the research topic and results.