This article advocates the value of a mobilities approach to examining the lived experiences of youth in contexts of war, conflict, and disaster. With the aim of moving beyond “victim” narratives, it critically examines three cases of youth engagement in alternative sporting forms in post-earthquakes Christchurch and conflict-torn Afghanistan and Gaza. These are contexts in which youth physical mobilities are highly constrained, yet in each of these cases we also see youth creatively developing an array of strategies and initiatives to help improve their own and others’ health and well-being, for social and physical pleasure, and in some cases to challenge power relations. The three brief cases highlight the multiple and complex layers of transnational mobilities, with the flows of people, objects, and ideas across borders, being negotiated and (re)appropriated by youth in locally specific ways.
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Kate Pride Brown
Why do some arid locations persist in having weak water conservation policies? And why do some wetter locales implement comparatively strong conservation requirements? Based upon 43 qualitative interviews with water stakeholders in four selected cities (Atlanta, Phoenix, San Antonio, Tampa), this article puts forward one contributing factor to explain this apparent contradiction: the variable “visibility” of stressed water resources. The material conditions of different water sources (e.g., groundwater, surface water) and geologies (i.e., during droughts or during flooding) provide variable opportunities to “see” water scarcity. The visual impacts of shrinking water resources can become a major motivating factor in the general public for increased water conservation. However, water supply is often physically invisible. In these circumstances, the image of water supply may be intentionally conjured in the public mind to produce similar concern. Assured, steady supply, on the other hand, can dampen the public will for strong conservation policy.
Alison Lloyd Williams, Amanda Bingley, Marion Walker, Maggie Mort and Virginia Howells
This article reports on a project, led jointly by Lancaster University and Save the Children UK, that used mobile, creative, and performance-based methods to understand children’s experiences and perceptions of the 2013–2014 UK winter floods and to promote their voices in flood risk management. We argue that our action-based methodology situated the children as “flood actors” by focusing on their sensory experience of the floods and thus their embodied knowledge and expertise. The research activities of walking, talking, and taking photographs around the flooded landscape, as well as model making and the use of theater and performance, helped to “mobilize” the children not only to recall what they did during the floods but also to identify and communicate to policy makers and practitioners how we can all do things differently before, during, and after flooding.
Mariana C. Françozo
Located at the old harbor of the city of Genoa, the modern Galata Museo del Mare was inaugurated as part of the commemoration of Genoa as the 2004 European Capital of Culture. Only twelve years later, the museum proudly welcomes 200,000 visitors annually into its twenty-eight galleries, organized in an impressive exhibition space of 10,000 square meters, showcasing 4,300 objects. While the aim of the museum is to tell the maritime history of Genoa—ranging from Christopher Columbus to an open-air space showcasing the story of the Genoese shipyard—it is the exhibition on migration to and from Italy that will truly impress the visitor.
Andreas Baranowski and Heiko Hecht
One hundred years ago, in 1916, Hugo Münsterberg was the first psychologist to publish a book on movie psychology, entitled The Photoplay: A Psychological Study. We revisit this visionary text, which was an anticipation of the field of cognitive movie psychology. We use the structure of his book to look into advances that have been made within the field and evaluate whether Münsterberg’s initial claims and predictions have borne out. We comment on the empirical development of film studies regarding perceived depth and movement, attention, memory, emotion, and esthetics of the photoplay. We conclude that the most of Münsterberg’s positions remain surprisingly topical one hundred years later.
The seafaring trade is considered one of the most dangerous occupations. Dealing with their daily tasks while skippering across seascapes, seafarers are exposed to weather, wind, currents, and changeable ship movements. Container ships operate day and night along tight schedules and constitute physically and mentally exhausting environments, amplified during nighttime. This article draws on mobilities research that conceptualizes seascapes as sensitive and affective, and as spaces of production and social transformation. Nighttime traveling is multisensual. Darkness may dim landscape and intensify the effect (and affects) of the unpredictable seascape. Ships must slow down and rely on technology, and the experience and knowledge of navigators and ship crews. The buildup of stillness accompanying slower movements is filled with alertness in response to the known and unknown dangers that the seascape holds at night. This article uses seafarers’ narratives and my own observations to unfold the complexities of steering a container ship through the night.
Sociologists of disasters and those agencies dedicated to disaster risk reduction and emergency relief tend to fix disasters, to confine them in time and space. This article argues for the necessity of a mobilities turn within mainstream disaster studies, demonstrating what the new mobilities paradigm (NMP) can contribute to disaster scholarship. Disasters should be seen as mobile agents with spatially and temporally dispersed effects. They are mobile because people, nonhuman life-forms, information, and commodities move. The ecosystems and earth systems that sustain us are also always in flux. Instead of focusing on isolated disaster cases, this article calls for a “big picture” ecological sensibility that recognizes the complexity and interconnectivity of our world, and addresses the new forms of mobility, temporality, spatiality, and potency inherent to today’s disasters. This task is urgent: while previous eras may have announced the apocalypse, ours may well be the last one to do so.
Jaime Moreno Tejada
Kawa, Nicholas C. 2016. Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, Soils, Plants, Forests. Austin: University of Texas Press. [e-book].
Starosielski, Nicole. 2015. The Undersea Network. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Tsing, Anna L. 2015. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gail Adams-Hutcheson, Holly Thorpe and Catharine Coleborne
The mobilities framework offers a particularly informative and potent paradigm through which to draw together interdisciplinary scholarship about the present world. In this introduction—and indeed, derived from a symposia on mobilities in a dangerous world—we explore the dynamics of contemporary mobilities through a critical focus on “dangerous” spaces and places. We discuss the potential of a sustained dialogue between mobilities studies and our focus on risk, adversity, and perceptions of danger. Although disasters link to four of the articles, ideas are expanded to draw on the multiple scales of risk and danger in everyday life within and across an array of international contexts. In this special issue, dynamic mobilities are facilitated by ships, skateboards, buildings, art, and cities; they are also encountered in darkness, in light, and through bodies as well as physical and imagined movements.
Environmental social scientists should analyze ideologies that reproduce ecologically unsustainable societies through the method of ideology critique. Ideology refers to ideas and practices that conceal contradictions through the legitimation and/or reification of the social order. Ideology critique is a method that allows the researcher to unmask systemic contradictions concealed by ideology. While the primary purpose of this project is to revisit and revise conceptual and methodological tools for the environmental social sciences, I provide examples of ideologies that may aid in the reproduction of the “treadmill of production” or the expansionistic production cycle that accelerates resource use and pollution.