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Race, Intimacy & Extraction on a Resource Frontier
March 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
University of London
This research maintains a close focus on the deployments of racial and gendered power within the contract area and surrounds of one of the largest gold and copper mines in the world. The paper begins by tracing active political projects on the part of a concert of colonial, state, and corporate agents to racialise the local population in the service of extraction. A series of exclusions – from the proper moral figure of the human, from the durative present tense, and from the ‘real world’ – have served to produce the Indigenous population as inferior, backwards, and therefore ultimately expropriatable. These discursive exclusions have been reproduced as spatial and economic exclusions for the Indigenous, even as their condition is one of forced inclusion into the broader ecology and economy of extraction. I pay special attention to presentations of Indigenous understandings of intimacy as ‘unrestrained’ and ‘tribal’ and therefore germane to their racialisation as morally inferior. Moral framings of intimacy are then traced through to the contradictions of the present in which large scale sex industries are appended to industrial extraction with the complicity of state and corporate agents. Overall the paper details granular processes within one specific site but nonetheless tells a story with global resonance about the relationship between racialisation, accumulation, and the development of sexual-extractive cultures on resource frontiers.