Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina is poisoned politically, economically, and environmentally. Persistent political instability, increasing poverty intensified by pressures for the privatization of natural resources, and more frequent environmental disasters all attest to a toxic mode of governance. This will be the subject of Damir Arsenijević’s lecture, ‘Colonialism through Waste and Activist Practices of Resistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina,’ on Monday, December 18, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the ISS.
One constant is evident, namely the continuation of the logic of war, from the inaccessibility of significant territory due to the presence of mines, through treating natural resources as war spoils, to the hiding and burying of industrial toxic waste at unknown locations during the destruction of factories in privatizations.
In the lecture, Damir Arsenijević will demonstrate the connection between ecological violence, international capital flows, and the political structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His fundamental thesis is that the key concept for understanding the deindustrialization of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the production of new subjectivities in this process is the practice of waste production. It is not only about the production of people as waste but also about the reduction, devaluation, and ultimately the destruction of social bonds through the production and circulation of toxic narratives of hopelessness and despair.
Damir Arsenijević is a senior research associate at the Ethnographic Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU). He is a cultural and literary theorist, a psychoanalyst in training, and a regular professor of Anglo-American literary and cultural studies. He completed his undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral studies at De Montfort University in the United Kingdom. As part of the Fulbright program, he was a visiting professor and researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Rhetoric, as well as a visiting professor in the field of environmental humanities at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In 2023 and 2024, he is conducting research in the field of environmental humanities as part of the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC), based in Berlin.
The lecture can also be followed via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 921 8385 4075