Citizens of Worlds: Open Air Toolkits for Environmental Struggle
Jennifer Gabrys from Cambridge University will present at an online seminar on May 9th, 2023, 3-4.30 pm GMT.
The seminar will discuss Professor Gabrys’ recent book of the same title. The book is available open access here.
Here is a synopsis: Environments are increasingly sites of pollution, extraction, disaster, and development. Citizens of Worlds examines how citizen-sensing technologies and practices observe, evidence, and act on environmental disturbance.
By focusing especially on how people use sensors and sensing technologies to monitor air quality, this book asks who or what constitutes a “citizen” in citizen sensing. How do digital sensing technologies enable or constrain environmental citizenship?
Taking the form of a how-to guide, Citizens of Worlds documents projects from the Citizen Sense research group, which built digital sensor toolkits for documenting and analysing air pollution. This practice-based study describes collaborations with people to monitor air pollution from fracking infrastructure, document traffic emissions, and create air quality gardens.
In the process of installing sensing technologies, this study considers the aspirations, collaborations, troubleshooting, disappointments, and political change that are forged in specific sensing projects.
As these projects show, how people work with, respond to, care for, shape, fight for, and transform environments informs the political subjects and collectives that they become. Citizens and worlds materialize through attempts to sense and struggle toward more breathable conditions.
Jennifer Gabrys is Chair in Media, Culture and Environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Planetary Praxis research group and is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies, which launched the research platform Smart Forests Atlas in 2022.
She also leads the Citizen Sense and AirKit projects, which investigate the use of environmental sensors for new modes of citizen involvement in environmental issues. Both of these projects have received funding from the European Research Council.
Zoom Meeting ID: 967 2492 3434