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Patrick Bond at the Association of American Geographers, 10 April

Collisions of community and capital in Africa’s armpit:
South Durban’s contested port-petrochemical complex

By Patrick Bond
Presented at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meetings panel on Grassroots environmental governance: Community engagements with industrial development

Patrick Bond gives three talks at the Association of American Geographers, Tampa, 10 April

The 2014 Capitalism Nature Socialism Lecture
Is scheduled on Thursday, 10 April from 12:40 PM - 2:20 PM in Florida Salon VI, Marriott, Second Floor

David Correia - University Of New Mexico
Salvatore Engel-DiMauro - SUNY New Paltz

Mazen Labban - Rutgers University

Patrick Bond - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Session Description: Patrick Bond is professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where he has directed the Centre for Civil Society since 2004. He is a political economist with longstanding research interests and NGO work in urban communities and with global justice movements in several countries. He is the author of many books including the 2012 book Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below

Abstract Title: The collision of community and capital in Africa's armpit: South Durban's contested port/petrochem complex is part of the Paper Session:Grassroots environmental governance: Community engagements with industrial development

Scheduled on Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 16:40 PM.

Patrick Bond* - University of KwaZulu-Natal

The biggest single location-specific investment project in South Africa ($25 billion - before what could be a standard 50-300 percent price escalation) is the anticipated eight-fold expansion of South Durban's port-petrochem complex over the next three decades. The doubling of the petroleum pipeline capacity from Durban to Johannesburg recently cost $2.3 billion alone. The notorious refineries belonging to BP, Shell and the Malaysian firm Engen are constantly polluting neighbouring residential areas occupied by black South Africans for generations: the 'Indian' area of Merebank and 'coloured' Wentworth. Planners claim the expansion of world shipping, from the 'Panamax' 5000-container ships to super post-Panamax at least three times bigger, will generate a rise from 2.5 million to 20 million containers processed annually in Durban by 2040. However, the residents' organisations - united as the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance – offer multiple overlapping critiques of this project, including the flawed participatory process; the destruction of small-scale farming and long-standing neighbourhoods (with tens of thousands of expected discplacements; major ecological problems (as Durban is one of just three estuarine bays in SA); climate change causes and impacts; and irrational economics with generous ('White Elephant') subsidies. The framing of the campaign is of great importance because an alternative vision has been established by SDCEA, based on an ecologically-sensitive, labour-intensive economic and social strategy for the South Durban Basin.

infrastructure, shipping, oil, climate, resistance, Durban, South Africa

Paper Session: 3159 Revolution Today

Is scheduled on Thursday, 10 April 2014, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Grand Salon H, Marriott, Second Floor

Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group
Political Geography Specialty Group

Yousuf Al-Bulushi - UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Geography
Stevie Larson

Stevie Larson

8:00 AM Author(s): *Ipsita Chatterjee - University of North Texas
Abstract Title: Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition

8:15 AM Author(s): *Silvano De La Llata, PhD Candidate - Cornell Universtity

Abstract Title: Spaces of Becoming. Destituent power and the 2011 protest encampments

8:30 AM Author(s): *Yousuf Al-Bulushi - UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Geography

Abstract Title: "That's why I'm a Socialist": South African Movement in Global Context

8:45 AM Author(s): *Ellen Louis -

Abstract Title: Understanding the Trayvon Moment through a Radical Black Feminist Reading of Song of Solomon

9:00 AM Discussant: Patrick Bond - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Patrick Bond - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Session Description: The so-called 'housing crisis' in the US of 2008 eventually grew into a full-blown structural and global crisis of capital. While initially causing increased suffering through sky-rocketing unemployment followed by austerity policies that continue today, the dynamics of crisis also stimulated a global chain of revolt ranging from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, peaking in 2011. These movements of the last few years have brought the concept of revolution back to center-stage as a realistic program of radical societal change. However, many interpretations of the uprisings have struggled to grapple with the content of radical politics, deploying arguably outdated modes of analysis or attempting to situate the new movements within legible political formations (i.e. electoralism, leadership) that do not map onto the dynamics of current struggles.

In this proposed session, we wish to generate a more robust discussion of the last five years of revolutionary movements that reflects seriously on their function, organization, potentials, and limitations, oriented around a key question: what political problems do these recent movements present to us in their achievements and failures? We invite papers that contribute to this discussion in multiple ways: contextually specific case studies; diverse theoretical frameworks; analyses of contemporary struggles in relation to reconfigurations of capital, state, and civil society; and/or interpretations and critiques of recent scholarship on radical politics.

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