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Presented By: Institute for Social Research

Veins, plumes, and mantles: the slippery form of subterranean water movement in Costa Rica

Water Ways: New Social Science, Science Studies, and Environmental Approaches to Water

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Veins, plumes, and mantles: the slippery form of subterranean water movement in Costa Rica
Andrea Ballestero, University of Southern California

Monday, Feb. 7, The Open Talks will be held noon to 1pm, and the Grad Workshops will be held 1 to 3pm.

Zoom Link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95385019774?pwd=N0I1THZGYlQwZi9UT2Q5dFlXSEttdz09
Meeting ID: 953 8501 9774
Passcode: 520095

Abstract:
Among Costa Rican hydrogeologists and water activists there is a longstanding struggle over the most appropriate metaphor to describe subterranean water. Veins (venas) have captured their imagination since at least colonial times when mining and other extractive projects dominated visual renderings of water. Plumes (plumas)have emerged more recently as hydrogeologists try to convey to the public the fragility and volatility of aquifers in danger of chemical contamination. Mantles (mantos) persist as figures that evoke the extended and enveloping character of water as a material substance. Measured against human bodies, human-made disasters, and human needs, these figurations that guide political decisions about harm and well-being. This paper examines the assumptions about collective life in Costa Rica that are written into these figures. I query how and where do these figures collide, and ask whose imagination is privileged in that process?

This is a part of the Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD) Winter 2022 Series - "Water Ways: New Social Science, Science Studies, and Environmental Approaches to Water"

This is also a part of the class Anthrcul 558 section 002
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