Politics of Mining: Toxic Heritage in the Atacama Desert

Weinberg M., Figueroa, V.; Kryder-Reid, Elizabeth; May, Sarah.

Keywords: mining, toxicities, materialities, energy transition, Atacama Desert


Copper and lithium mining in the Atacama Desert produces high levels of toxicity that threaten human and non-human health. Establishing a dialogue between archaeology and anthropology, this chapter reflects on the past and present toxic impacts of these actions by following their tangible and intangible traces and remains since the establishment of the Chilean neoliberal dictatorship in 1973. While these marks, or collateral effects, are sometimes perceived and observable, at other times they act so intimately at a cellular level that they become part of a local biopolitical heritage. The unstoppable growth of an infrastructure that supports the development of these extractive activities continues to produce toxic heritages under promises and fantasies of futuristic desires pushed forward by the dominant energy transition paradigm.

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Editorial: Routledge
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 16
Idioma: inglés