Accepted paper:

Infrastructural dynamics of waste: the politics of knowledge in waste treatment in Greater Athens (Attiki)


Yannis Kallianos (CRESC)

Paper short abstract:

The paper will examine waste treatment processes in Greater Athens (Attica), Greece with the objective to explore how knowledge about waste treatment is produced, contested and codified at different scales and contexts

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines urban waste treatment as a socio-technical and political practice that comes to define a cities' 'metabolism' and the ways in which people make sense and imagine their cities in the future during times of crisis. How is waste treatment a process that is mobilized at such times and, what are its particular effects? What, therefore, is the 'productivity' of waste and landfills in political, epistemological and moral discourses? How are ideas, values and practices of treating waste in Greater Athens shaping future expectations and the image of the city? Since 2010 — and in the context of the Greek socio-economic crisis — new actors and discourses have emerged in the field of waste treatment in Athens. An extended network of private and public stakeholders and actors has been created that, in the process of dealing with waste in the everyday, renegotiate ideas of danger, purity and dirt. In which way are existing knowledge hierarchies of waste treatment being reconsidered during this process? What other spaces and places may be produced in the course of this renegotiation? To what extent does waste treatment infrastructures enable distinctive forms of resistance and legitimacy to political power? Finally, considering the various uncertainties that define everyday life in Greece, what type of imaginaries concerning the future may emerge or be challenged around the politics of waste in Athens?

panel P028
Infrastructure and imagination: Anthropocene landscapes, urban deep-ecology, cybernetic dreams and future-archaeologies