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University of Cape Town. (2021)

Ebbs and flows : more-than-human encounters with the Cape Flats Aquifer in a context of climate change

Polic, Deanna

Titre : Ebbs and flows : more-than-human encounters with the Cape Flats Aquifer in a context of climate change

Auteur : Polic, Deanna

Université de soutenance : University of Cape Town.

Grade : Master of Philosophy in Environmental Humanities 2021

Résumé
This dissertation advocates inclusive and integrated more-than-human relations as humans, technoscience, and nature become increasingly entangled in contexts of climate change and socio-ecological crisis. Researching in the environmental humanities between 2017 and 2020, I situate my study in Cape Town, South Africa, where the fluctuations between water’s abundance and absence—as evidenced by the 2018 drought—have necessitated new approaches to ontology and epistemology that critically disrupt dominant systems of thought. Using the Cape Flats Aquifer and its aboveground area, the Philippi Horticultural Area, as my primary field sites, I focused on the legal battle that has surfaced between various human actors over land and water use, to explore how different human-nature relationships emerge, and to evaluate the social and environmental implications thereof. The overall inquiry guiding my research is how the Cape Flats Aquifer can make the case for multispecies relations by examining how it flows, or is brought into, existence. First, I present the different kinds of evidence that make the aquifer and its aboveground area un/seen ; second, I assess whether alternative ways of evidencing the aquifer exist with a focus on farming practices in the Philippi Horticultural Area ; third, I question what ought to be part of the aquifer evidentiary if sustainable, adaptive, and resilient human-nature relations are to be achieved ? I argue that humans, multispecies, and earthly bodies such as the aquifer ought to be understood as relational, multiple, and intimately implicated in each other in the face of unpredictable climatic conditions.

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Page publiée le 17 mai 2022