Thinking about the Case Study on Industriepark Höchst (Memo)

There are three different aspects, that are important for me at the moment, when looking at our case study.

First, I am thinking about the point of risky subjects/ risky plants in the context of producing security - since I read a lot about the production of security in the context of borders/ food safety and cargo mobility safety in the last weeks for other courses. What is striking for me here, is that in all these contextes there were always risky subjects constructed (embedded in a analytical framework of gonverning in a foucauldian sense): to produce security, risky subjects have to be identified so that they can be removed - so that processes can run smoothly again. In the context of industrial plants, security for workers and residents is put in a completely different way:  It seems to me that there is no effort made to reduce the risk of contamination - data, that are great to govern in other contexts - disappear here, are not recorded or not used. So we have "risky subjects" living and working at the industrial plants too (as it was also shown in many of the examples that we looked at during the course until now), but there is no effort made to make them less risky: I think it is because it is another kind of being a risky subject, but I am not sure in which way, I would like to explore this further. One opportunity is for me here, that we have a rassist and classistic component here - pointing to what Laura Pulido conceptualizes as environmental racism in her article on Geographies of race and ethnicity II.

This leads me to my second point: When I was filling in the sketchbook, I stumpled over the point 3: stresses and vulnerabilites - because I think if we only see poverty rates, language skills, high COVID-rates as vulnerabilities for certain environmental health hazards, we can slightly come to overview, how in a systematic way certain bodies are more likely to be resident in those areas, that are close to industrial plants, fabrics, live in areas with polluted air etc. - so I think the term vulnerabilites is one that maybe could be replaced by a term that also includes this direction of relation between inequalities and regions close to an environmental hazard.

Third, what is interesting for me too, is the aspect of participation in the context of Industriepark Höchst - how residents are invited to be part of decisions of the Höchst Industriepark. I think at the moment I am seeing this more as a strategic way of governing the residents from the part of the Industriepark. But I would like to have a closer look, maybe also at protocols of these meetings with residents that used to occur. I think I should read more about this topic of participation/ citizen science at the paper that Louise suggested last week: Building ‘participation’ upon critique: The Loweswater Care Project, Cumbria, UK by Judith Tsouvalis & Claire Waterton.


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