Master of Arts Bonde Lina

136200 €

Toxic uncertainty as a matter of care

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

How do practices and matters of care unfold in toxic environments? How does care work happen in toxic uncertainty? How do we care for each other and for waste? My project explores the entanglements of e-waste with practices and matters of care (work), particularly practices often unrecognized, such as reproductive work in a context of toxic uncertainty, caring for e-waste, one’s health, safety and home. My research site Agbogbloshie, an e-waste scrap yard and slum settlement in Accra, Ghana. The slum settlement has 70 000 - 80 000 inhabitants and is surrounded by polarized narratives questioning or confirming its toxic narrative by referring to it as the most toxic places on earth, an e-waste hub and poverty porn. In re-centering the e-waste narratives, I am interested in how families and institutions care for the health and well-being of children, and especially the relations of care (work) in and around kindergartens and its entanglement with the toxic e-waste. Hence, my fieldwork begins where the media stories end; from a local kindergarten run by Dream Africa Care Foundation to which I have contact. I develop an analytical framework by relating discard studies, intersectionality and feminist science and technology studies to explore toxic uncertainty as a matter of care. Methodologically, the approach of ‘following the mushroom’ (Tsing, 2012), allows me to observe the unexpected inter-human relations, but also non-human and human interactions. The project will be relevant for societal discussions on environmental injustice and durable social inequalities that take the extended margins of Europe under consideration.