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Open access

Water in Atmospheric Suspension

Contact Zones between Ethnography and Speculative Realism

Chakad Ojani


By installing fog catchers in the hills around Lima, Peru, conservationists seek to transform fog into water for use in infrastructures of fog oasis reforestation. This article describes the devices and techniques of inquiry through which fog was gradually rendered catchable. These relational engagements with the atmosphere, and the multifarious forms that fog assumed along the way, will be used to reflect on the possibilities and limitations of speculative realism for more-than-human ethnography. Particularly relevant is Graham Harman's notion of ‘vicarious causation’, which denotes how things located outside thought can be accessed vicariously and partially, for example, through allusion. My contention is that this concept may be productively adapted for ethnographic inquiry if repurposed to fit with an open-ended and relational understanding of the outside.

Open access

Zora Kostadinova and Chakad Ojani

Darryl Li, The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity. Stanford University Press, pp. 364, 2020.

Hannah Knox, Thinking Like a Climate: Governing a City in Times of Environmental Change. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 328, 2020.