Across the earth, an increasing number of areas are subject to extractive and destructive practices by humans, to the point that they will barely be inhabitable for a long time after. Mining, rarely considered through a feminist or inclusive lens, not only accumulates material but also determines local ecologies and cultures. This research project works along two mountains of ore extraction: Malmberget in Sábme/North Sweden and Erzberg in Austria. On both mountains, the intense extraction of ore deposits, among the largest in Central and Northern Europe, determines histories, herstories and the futures of local actors, both human and non-human.
In the case of Malmberget, we can also learn from local feminist engagement and Indigenous knowledge, both past and present. Focusing on intersectional feminist perspectives, the project follows local practitioners. Both mining environments have mostly been represented through narratives of hard labour and pioneers, growth, unimaginable volumes of rocks and profit. Focusing on the perspectives of actors who engage in alternative practices of living well together, and who take care of the extractive environments and communities, shows the interconnectedness of multiple more-than-human actors and their spatial practices of care, maintenance and repair amid extraction – through feminist strategies of making visible, bringing together and anticipating and activating local futures.
Staying with the troubles and losses of extractive zones unveils connectivities and often surprising practices of care and endurance, which form the basis of a resilient theoretical framework for inclusive ecologies, both during and after exploitation. An ethical, intersectional framework revives the margins of how we know with these sites of environmental exploitation.
Project duration: 1.3.2020 – 29.2.2024
The project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): Project no. T1157-G.