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Medical Student Activism: Political x Institutional x Personal

This article is part of the series:

Robert Rock and Nientara Anderson are medical students involved in a broad range of activism efforts at the Yale School of Medicine, including the US Health Justice initiatives (co-founded by Robert Rock) and the History, Health, and Humanities Reading Group (co-led by Nientara Anderson). Robert and Nientara also co-teach a session within the main curriculum for Yale medical students titled …

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Island

Island. They are meditative, graspable and productive to think with. On the one hand, they are often conceptualized as the beginning of the world, sites of existential and utopian longing, tranquil and innocent: Paradise. On the other hand, they represent the end of the world, as sites of imprisonment and exile, places where contaminants are made to disappear, dumping grounds …

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Dump

 

South Africa, 1994. Apartheid before, democracy after. Nonetheless, obstinate continuities stretch across this important rupture. Bisasar Road Landfill, the largest registered landfill on the African continent, constitutes a site of such a continuity, inviting obstinacies of various kinds. It is these obstinacies that have lured me to this particular “dump.”

Dumps, along with landfills, incinerators, waste-to-energy plants are technologies …

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Port

Indian Ocean port cities are worlds of coral and glass. Consider Lamu or Zanzibar on the East African coast with their labyrinthine old towns where ornate buildings made of smooth grey coral stone stand in various states of ruin along narrow and winding lanes echoing long histories of trade and mobility. If coral indexes a distant past of commerce and …

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Detritus

I employed the category ‘detritus’ in the early 2000s to diagnose the different kinds of residues of racial capitalism with which people struggled in the shadows of South Durban’s oil refineries. These residues ranged from various attempts at documenting the effects of industrial pollution, to the many ways in which people confronted the embodied and sensual remains of apartheid’s racial …