|Date:||13 Oct 2017 (Fri)|
|Venue:||G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK|
A paper jam crisis was looming in the Hong Kong territory as local paper recycling firms launched a strike in September 2017 in response to the new rules by the mainland Chinese authority on waste as “polluting foreign imports”. While awakening to the alarming rate and amount of waste generated daily, we might as well ponder on how waste collectors clean up the city and what their experiences are. My recent book Living with Waste: Economies, Communities and Spaces of Waste Collectors in China (The Chinese University Press 2016), co-authored with Zhang Jieying, addresses this issue. In the talk, I will introduce our book and explore how waste collectors work, experience and live with depleted or broken matters in the margins of Beijing city. Questions I will also address include: how does waste work as a modality of power? How does waste shape the language, strategies and everyday precarious experience of waste collectors? Lastly, I will discuss how humanities research can address global environmental challenges and engage with emerging concepts such as “planetary boundary” and the Anthropocene.