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Department of Geography

 

Infrastructural Geographies: Seminars and public lectures

Seminars and public lectures within the Infrastructural Geographies research group of the Department of Geography.

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Friday 27th January 2023, 12.45pm - Geoff Goodwin, School of Geography, University of Leeds
The social and political life of Latin American infrastructures: Insights from the Ecuadorian Andes
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography

In this talk, I will draw on my research on water politics in Ecuador to reflect on The Social and Political Life of Latin American Infrastructures, a new cross-disciplinary book that I co-edited with Jonathan Alderman. In the introduction to the book, we build on the recent infrastructure literature to argue that it is fruitful to conceptualise infrastructure as a relational and experimental process. I will seek to show the merit of this conceptual approach by analysing the construction, maintenance and development of water infrastructure by members of rural communities in the Ecuadorian Andes. Since the 1960s and 1970s, rural highland communities have taken greater autonomous control of water sources and services, and this has involved diverse and creative interactions with various types of infrastructure. I will argue that while this uneven process has been beset by problems and conflicts, it has created space for rural communities to reconfigure social and political relations and strengthen their collective autonomous capacity. I will conclude by reflecting on the specificity of Latin American infrastructures and the gaps in the conceptual framework that we develop in the book.