Ethnographic Encounters with Morality, Crisis and Extractivism in Venezuela

The complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has caused more than five million Venezuelans to flee their country. In turn, Venezuelans who stay have developed multiple subsistence strategies, which include remittances, emergency gold extraction and the resale of dollars and gasoline. These improvised survival practices create opportunities and insecurities in multiple sites of economic and environmental activity. In this webinar, organized by the ISR lab Infrastructure, Sustainability and Commons, we explore what anthropology can add to the timely debates on economic crisis, natural resource extraction and environmental threats. In conversation with social anthropologists Iselin Åsedotter Strønen (University of Bergen) and Matt Wilde (University of Leicester), we discuss the nexus of extractive societies, grassroots politics, kinship and social responsibility in contemporary Venezuela through the anthropological lens of morality. How do individuals perceive everyday ethics in periods of rapid and contradictory social and economic change? What role do natural resources play in local imaginations of wellbeing and prosperity? What can we learn from the Venezuelan crisis about corporate social responsibility and energy companies? Afterwards there is an online discussion with the audience convened by Eva van Roekel and Marjo de Theije.

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12 November 2020 14.00-16.00 (ECT)