Moving Rivers Webinar Series on depoliticizing socionatures by Riverhood and Rivercommons (February 23rd)

February 15, 2024

The Riverhood & River Commons team cordially invites you to attend this month's Moving Rivers Webinar entitled “Naturalising” transfers and artificializing rivers: the consequences of depoliticizing socionatures, will be taking place on February 23, 2024, at 15:00 – 16:30 CET time.

"Naturalising" transfers and artificializing rivers: the consequences of depoliticizing socionatures

When does the expectation of water supply make an artificial flow seem natural? How do these expectations mediate our understanding of rivers? An

d what does this say about socio-environmental politics more broadly? In this session, Nick Bourguignon will explore these questions through the example of the Tagus-Segura interbasin transfer in Spain and how it has radically altered hydrological and social relations between river basins, irrigation communities in them, and ontological visions of infrastructure, rivers and water. Following this reflection, Erik Swyngedouw will challenge the very notion of "naturalization", which suggests that Nature knows best, that it suggests ways of acting that are sustainably 'adapted' to its internal dynamics and functioning. The depoliticizing consequences of 'adapting' to Nature are indeed clear. In this presentation, Erik shall make a case for the inevitability of 'maladaptation' and tease out its implications. Drawing on a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective, the presentation will argue that embracing the inevitability of maladaptation opens up a new terrain for politicizing the non-human.


Erik Swyngedouw is Professor Geography at the University of Manchester, UK. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Roskilde and Malmö University. He has published widely on themes related to water, political ecology, politicization and radical politics. He is currently working on a book provisionally entitled “Enjoying Climate Change”.

Nick Bourguignon is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Ph.D. Fellow in Feminist Political Ecology of the Wellbeing, Ecology, Gender, and community – Intensive Training Network (WEGO-ITN), and a Ph.D. researcher of the European Research Council’s Riverhood Project. We look forward to having you attend the event!

Interested? Register now

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