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Inhabiting the Area Where Land Meets the Sea: Coastal Infrastructure on the Shoreline in Southwest Kaohsiung and Practice of Diverse Communities
|Publication Year :||2020|
The shoreline in southwest Kaohsiung, which has undergone different periods of coastal engineering from the 1950s onwards, constantly shapes and reshapes landscapes between land and sea. This process encompasses co-construction of land, space, species, communities, and, mobilization of knowledge. Equally important, it also involves mutual shaping relations among these phenomena. My thesis focuses on the coast, rather than fishing villages or ports, which have been researched by previous studies of social science. I analyze local coastal engineering, exemplified by the twelve-year expansion program of Kaohsiung Harbor (1958-1970), the construction of second harbor entrance (1967-1975), the Southern Stars Plan (1980 to present), and the Kaohsiung Intercontinental Container Terminal (KITC) (2007 to present). To critically examine these projects which are featured in local coastal engineering, I address the following research questions:1) How are the actors that situate different scales connected to each other and mobilized in the process of the construction of coastal infrastructure? 2) How are cross-scale communities, fish, seawater, and sand, co-constructed and inhabited? 3) What kind of social relations and imagination are produced?
Drawing upon the theory of the anthropology of infrastructure, my thesis views the changing shoreline in southwest Kaohsiung as processes of infrastructuration. I analyze the above-mentioned questions along three aspects. First, I conceptualize the shoreline in southwest Kaohsiung in the context of reclaimed land of west coast in Taiwan in the post-war era, and illustrate how the state organized heterogeneous elements like laws, institutions, knowledges, technologies, human, non-human species and natural force into systems of coastal infrastructure by the infrastructural work. In relation to this, I discuss what natural ontologies, composed of human, non-human species and geoforce, are constructed. Second, I look into how cross-scale human actors mobilize scientific knowledge, discourses, experiences about land and everyday life, and how they constantly shape and reshape the condition of reclaimed land. Moreover, the reclaimed areas of land become a demanding built-environment that human actors should maintain. Third, I further analyze natural phenomena and non-human species with sand and fish in different periods of infrastructural work, to show how the practices of fish-gathering of local communities are interweaved in the varying land-water amphibious rhythm, which has already been reconstructed by the coastal infrastructure. The interactions continuously generate ever-becoming social relations and imagination. In particular, I vividly illustrate the vitality of interstices, which are inherent in the infrastructure.
|Appears in Collections:||人類學系|
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