In this episode, Kristen Brig-Ortiz shares her piece “The Environmental Impact of Protest: A View From South Africa.”
Kristin Brig-Ortiz (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation examines how municipal administrators and residents cooperated and conflicted over how to manage their clean and waste water in Cape Colony and Natal port cities, roughly between 1840 and 1910. More broadly, Kristin is interested in the intersections of public health, the environment, and technology in nineteenth-century British South Africa.
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Notes and Further Reading:
– The three cities most affected were Johannesburg (Gauteng), Pietermaritzburg (KZN), and Durban (KZN).
– The Daily Maverick has been a particularly good source of news, as it features a number of perspectives on the situation. This op-ed has a good timeline for how events unfolded.
– Two significant clean-up efforts posted their updates and photos via Facebook: Clean up Durban and Rebuild SA.
– In Durban, the eThekwini municipality has organized the larger environmental clean-ups, while community and business groups have performed the majority of local recovery.
– For more on this subject, see e.g. Roger Gocking, “Ghana’s Bui Dam and the Contestation over Hydro Power in Africa,” African Studies Review 64, no. 2 (June 2021): 339-362; Christopher Rootes (ed.), Environmental Protest in Western Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); Julie Sze, Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007).
This show is produced and edited by Emma Moesswilde and Natalie Wilkinson, with music provided by Natalie Wilkinson and Christine Murphy. Special thanks to Elizabeth Hameeteman. For more on Ecotones Now, click here. Thanks for listening!