Project

Sandscapes Collective

Goal: We are a group of scholars thinking through the implications of sand extraction from multiple perspectives including political economy and ecology, economic geography, geopolitics, assemblage thinking, and the more-than-human. We are interested in what this overlooked material holds for our understanding of urbanization, resource grabs, property formation, environmental regulation and degradation, and resistance.

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Vanessa Lamb
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Join us in Tasmania!
CFP Institute of Australian Geographers Conference 2019 ‘Geographies of emergence, divergence and convergence’ 
9-13  July 2019, Hobart, Tasmania www.iagc2019.com
Session Title: Sensing the materiality of stone, sand and soil
Sponsored by: the IAG Cultural Geography and the Critical Development Study Groups
Convenors:  Uma Kothari (University of Manchester and University of Melbourne) and Vanessa Lamb (University of Melbourne)
Stone, sand and soil are composed of small grains, yet we rarely think of their singularity, instead focusing on the discrete objects that they collectively constitute. In this session, we explore the sensory, affective and productive capacities of these substances, and seek to better conceptualize how these granular entities are integral to the material world. We aim to investigate how their excavation, accumulation and circulation produces human and non-human entanglements, and connects people and places to create granular geographies. We also examine how political tensions around these processes are intensifying with their growing demand and scarcity.
Please submit your abstracts (150 words) online via the conference website  https://cdesign.eventsair.com/2019-iag/abstracts  and email the session convenors uma.kothari@manchester.ac.uk and vanessa.lamb@unimelb.edu.au. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 28 February 2019.
 
William Jamieson
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“There’s Sand in My Infinity Pool” explores land reclamation in Singapore as a speculative material and cultural practice. Typically presented as either a practical engineering feat or an ecologically disastrous approach to coastal development, the significance of land reclamation in the cultural formation of identity and landscape has yet to be addressed. Given the ongoing and speculative nature of land reclamation, this practice-led research seeks to position land reclamation as a form of writing to identify the rewritten boundaries of memory and identity, unearthing the unacknowledged implications of land reclamation as a material and cultural practice in the formation of national identity. Sourced from interviews, ethnographic accounts, and autoethnography, the narratives examine what it means to live with and through land reclamation. The “breakwater” widens the field of conceptual enquiry, juxtaposing ideas from human geography, literary criticism, and critical theory to widen the framework for interrogating this practice of nation building.
 
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Interview given to The Guardian by Melissa Marschke and Laura Schoenberger "Trade of coastal sand is damaging wildlife of poorer nations, study finds" (31 August 2018)
Excerpts:
  • Marschke said: “We need to realise that sand is a finite resource and we are overusing it and if we don’t start to manage it properly it has huge implications.”
  • Schoenberger said the issue of rich nations buying poor nations’ sands was “a huge social justice question”. She added: “What does it mean for a wealthy country to grow out into the sea and up into the sky at the expense of the physical biomaterial of poor countries?
  • “Sand is not a renewable resource within human timescales.”
 
William Jamieson
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In August of 2018, William Jamieson and Julian Brigstocke convened two sessions on Sandscapes at the RGS-IBG conference in Cardiff, sponsored by the RGS's Social and Cultural Geographies Research Group. The sessions sought to explore how sand, a seemingly mundane material, is at home in land, sea and air, and connects the elemental to the global. In the context of a sudden global shortage of sand (Peduzzi 2014), and given its vitality to construction, our aim was to pay attention to the material life of this imaginatively potent material by delving into the multiplicity of sandscapes that pervade our lives. Attached are the abstracts from that session.
 
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We are a group of scholars thinking through the implications of sand extraction from multiple perspectives including political economy and ecology, economic geography, geopolitics, assemblage thinking, and the more-than-human. We are interested in what this overlooked material holds for our understanding of urbanization, resource grabs, property formation, environmental regulation and degradation, and resistance.