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An oil pumpjack, erected on the edge of a McDonald’s parking lot, is front and centre. Visible just behind the jack are the colourful letters designating the restaurant’s Playspace, while off to the left is the globally-recognizable double arch of the fast food empire’s sign. In Alberta, where I grew up, the pumpjack is not an unfamiliar sight. But this was the first time I had seen a fake pump jack, and the first time, too, that I had seen anything like it near the golden arches. So why a pumpjack here in Edmonton? And why this fake approximation of the real thing - a child’s version of the complex mechanical apparatus found on oil fields around the world? This pumpjack moves, up and down, slowly and patiently pretending to carry out the work that it has to do. This McDonald’s isn’t hidden away, but is located at the corner of two major arteries, one running across the city and the other into and out of it. Thousands of commuters move past both daily, as do visitors rushing from the core to the airport. In an otherwise drab and ugly part of Edmonton (though there are many such parts) made up of little more than chain stores and light industry, the pumpjack stands out, a strange sentinel. Its very existence seems to insist on its importance and necessity. Yet even so, its presence at McDonald’s domesticates it, making it an object safe for everyday life.
In the photograph at the opening of the chapter, Vincent Lingiari, from the Gurindji Nation, accepts a symbolic gesture of land return from former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Lingiari was a spokesperson for the Gurindji strike, which involved Gurindji, Mudburra and Warlpiri workers and their families protesting conditions on a Northern Territory cattle station. In addition, the workers also argued that they were entitled to the land that the station operated from. Lasting ten years, the strike was part of a wave of Indigenous workers’ and land rights protest culminating in the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976. The image is complex. It reveals the contradictions of a white man giving land back to a Nation who never ceded their sovereignty. It also signals the unpaid debts owed to the negation of Indigenous sovereignties that facilitated the wealth of the pastoral industry and Australian national economy. The photograph was carefully staged by Mervyn Bishop, one of the first Indigenous photographers employed in non-Indigenous print media, and is iconic for Indigenous self-representation.
Seeking to make sense of a place that is at once disappearing and coming into being, this chapter narrates how the various geological, political, environmental and material landscapes captured in a satellite image of the Bayan Obo Mining Complex in Inner Mongolia have been obliterated, resurrected and transformed by the engineering of official state futures and accumulation of Chinese state capital. I seek to tell a story about how palimpsest landscapes that proliferate with disappeared lakes, expanding desert systems and haunted cities can tell us something more about non-Western public spheres marked by market socialism, the aftermath of Sino-Soviet collaboration and post-atomic nuclear histories. These sites, with their monumental futures, trace precarity’s forms: disappearance, absence and the immaterial. These processes, these uncanny uncertainties of presence, link official state futures with its promises of infinite economic development to the endlessly deferred, absent and recursive futures that have shaped China’s long twentieth century. Earthly and political rhythms demand new vocabularies for futures that end, recycle, endure and recur again. Shifting earth, mobile deserts and rivers reversed rework the chronopolitics of the grand futures of state-sponsored economic development, where people exist in the grim anticipatory state of the not-yet-buried.
Leaks have the ability to ‘make visible’. The day 22 April 2010 saw the culmination of many leaks into a seemingly singular catastrophe. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in an oil leak that flowed for eighty-seven days. After concerns that BP was withholding data on the status of the well, the company was compelled to livestream a video feed of the leak. Visual evidences of leaks become opportunities to witness dynamics that often elude us – the ecological toll of capitalism, the banality of disaster in late modernity and the lack of accountability of private enterprise. Here, we can recognize how leaks are not always isolated occurrences, but also means through which we can trace certain flows. Sprung leaks are often indications of poorly functioning systems – they can call into question an entire network of pipelines, flows and currents. But just as often leaks function as part of ‘business as usual’. In the contemporary moment, we are inundated with leaks: whether information leaks or material leaks. These leaks can turn our attention towards the political implications of negligence and the maintenance of conditions of disrepair. This chapter contemplates how leaks are implicated in flows of capital, power and people, and asserts that visualizations of leaking can make evident an imperial logic that, while sometimes operating covertly, always leaks out of the cracks, joints and seams of the power-maintaining structures.
The chapter takes as its starting point an image of a £1 banknote from Te Peeke o Aotearoa, a bank which was established in the late nineteenth century by the Kingitanga (a pan-tribal Māori movement for political autonomy). Te Peeke o Aotearoa was established as an exclusively Māori alternative to extortionate European banks. However, more than an effort to secure Māori financial autonomy, the establishment of Te Peeke o Aotearoa was an assertion of mana, woven into a deeper, pan-tribal refusal of colonial rule. I take this banknote as an instance of Māori subversion of a financial-colonial regime which my chapter would seek to expose and critique.
Established in 1801, the Capel Court building of the London Stock Exchange played an exceedingly minor role in how the British middle classes came to conceptualize the promise and reality of making money out of money. Entrance to the warren-like building was strictly reserved to paying members of the brokers’ association. Its design played virtually no role in the gradual legitimation of financial investments as an ordinary economic activity. But what of the brokers and clerks who worked there? Or the architects themselves, whose responsibility it was to give the marketplace its concrete material shape? Dating back to February 1880, John J. Cole’s plan of the stock exchange’s principal trading hall speaks to the challenges of visually representing the ‘financial market’ as a bona fide ‘marketplace’. Detailing the stock exchange’s principal markets, or ‘walks,’ the architectural drawing’s map-like design is hardly happenstance. Like those appearing in company prospectuses or classrooms, charting the expansion of British power across the globe, Cole’s ‘map’ did not so much represent space as actively construct it. Its interlocking flat planes of colour skilfully evoke the overcrowded atmosphere of the trading floor. Indeed, it would not be long before the stock exchange, taking over neighbouring properties, would be massively expanded and rebuilt. Working at once in the service of and against market forces, Cole’s efforts inevitably fell short. For, as Charles Duguid noted, reflecting on the building's successive expansions and alterations, ‘The shape of Stock Exchange is shapelessness’.
‘The Trust will pursue debt through all means necessary.’ This is part of a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request submitted to a London-based National Health Service (NHS) Trust, regarding the cost-recovery programme being used to collect outstanding debts from migrant women who have been charged for maternity and post-natal care in NHS institutions. Since 2015, migrants in England classed as undocumented, failed asylum seekers and overseas visitors, among others, are required to pay for secondary NHS services. The regulations stipulate that the certain migrants charged for care can be reported to the Home Office after two months of non-payment, a measure that directly affects their immigration status and the outcome of future immigration applications. In addition, outstanding debts are often passed on to third-party international debt-collection agencies. Narrating this complex and unfolding extension of the British debt economy to encompass migrant healthcare in Britain, the chapter links the production of indebted migrants to the afterlives of British empire. In so doing, it outlines how the Commonwealth Immigration Acts, which stripped citizenship rights away from colonial British subjects on the basis of race, form the precursor to the aggressive forms of racialized capitalism and immigrant incarceration being brought to bear against migrants in Britain today.
Alaska Native (AN) peoples have resided in rural, collectivist systems for time immemorial. However, AN history has been punctuated by manifold and often generational changes to these systems. Family structures, expressions of culture, land-based identities, and AN cosmology and ontology have been directly impinged upon by colonisation. Evidence of this exists in outward migration, climate change, health disparities and Western systems of health, learning and knowledge. Resilience, successful ageing, and quality of life are evident in community resources, inward migration, and the cultural and contextual factors that compose tribal group identity. All are firmly grounded within place, community strengths, and cultural revitalisation, and are embedded in land and nature. A sample of adults within rural Alaska were recruited to share their collective and lived realities related to their quality of life. Focus groups consisted of interactive tasks and thematic analyses. Nine salient themes were revealed: family; subsistence; access to resources; health and happiness; traditional knowledge and values; acts of self; providing; sobriety; and healing. All emphasised the cyclical and grounded nature of collective resilience and reclamation of Indigenous ways. Further, research demonstrates how AN Elder knowledge, intergenerational connection and generativity, and indigenised tenets of successful ageing are how rural AN communities become well, stay well, and pass on healing and wellness to future generations. Indigenous ageing provides a lens to understand AN quality of life and the symbiosis of rurality. An analysis of the historical changes to the AN cultural system, successful ageing, and an Indigenous, holistic framework of AN quality of life will be provided.
This chapter investigates the potential of art in rural placemaking through a close study of ‘Everyone is an Artist’, an ongoing art education-led rural revitalisation project in Longtan village, a poor rural village in a remote mountainous region of Fujian province, China. Launched by art educator Lin Zhenglu in 2017 with the support of local government, the project aims to enhance the living environment and the overall life quality of local residents. The chapter discusses the physical, spatial and cultural transformation of Longtan since it kicked off the project by engaging residents in painting, reviving vernacular architecture, and participating in various cultural and leisure activities. Methodologically, it combines art historical research, media research, fieldwork, semi-structured interviews, participatory observations, digital ethnography, and a study of a variety of documents and reports as well as insights from critical heritage studies in order to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the physical and cultural interventions that are being implemented in the village to advance a desirable individual and collective rural living. Its working hypothesis is that a meaningful placemaking effort cannot be separated from the remaking of people (residents of a given neighbourhood, village or town) and their private and public living environment; and artistic activities can lend their force for personal development and thus aid in the remaking of people for empowering them to assume an active role in the remaking of their hometown. It also sheds light on how experts can exert significant influence in heritage-inspired placemaking projects in China.
"People can be physically active in many different ways, including general physical activity and organised sports. In addition to the physical health benefits of participation, there is increasing evidence of broader health benefits – health-related quality of life of participation in organised community-level sports, specifically social and mental health benefits.
The study utilised data from over 6,000 participants and investigated their sports and physical activity profiles and quality of life – social, physical and mental. In doing so, the propositions of the Health through Sport conceptual model regarding the different health benefits of different types of activity are investigated. Research questions: (1) What is the health-related quality of life of individuals in rural and regional areas (countryside) compared to metropolitan areas? (2) How does the health-related quality of life of individuals differ according to type of activity? (3) How do the activity profiles and health outcomes of individuals align to the Health through Sport conceptual model?The aim was to investigate the contribution of participation in sports and physical activity to the health-related quality of life of individuals before and during COVID-19.
This study demonstrates that indicators of health-related quality of life differ among those living in rural and regional areas compared to metropolitan areas, in conjunction with differences attributable to gender, age and activity setting and mode."