The shrinking town of Eisenerz lies at the foot of the Erzberg mountain, Austria’s largest and best-known site of extraction of iron ore. The post-industrial town is experiencing a rural exodus, which concerns women in particular. Mining is predominantly narrated in male, heroic narratives, while counter-narratives of repair, care, reproduction and maintenance are mostly overlooked. 

Within this complex field, the project focuses on intersectional perspectives on an area of exhaustion; it will collect a diversity of post-extractive stories to broaden the perception of mining areas. We ask: Which practices contribute to the continuance of the community?

We work with local associations to reach diverse groups. Thus, local citizens have shared, collected and located stories of practices, sometimes even researching private archives. Processes of mutual learning take place in meetings and shared activities and through the process of transformation into drawings by the East Styrian artist Roswitha Weingrill. Based on collaborative science and an affirmative and inclusive approach, citizens are involved in decision-making on many levels. The collected knowledge will contribute to creating imaginations of future stories of a liveable community. With the help of artistic methods, these will be illustrated and made accessible in public events. 

Via strategies of making visible, bringing together, and anticipating and activating futures, and also with the help of artistic tools of knowledge production, this project will show practices as constant reparative counter-practices amid extraction. An ethical, intersectional framework of feminist citizen science will revive the margins of how we know about environmental exploitation to deliver a complex, yet profound, image of a polyphonic Anthropocene that allows dynamic assemblages to be imagined after exploitation. 

Project duration: 1.3.2023 – 29.2.2024

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Funding east

The project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): Project Nr. TCS T128-C.  

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