Controversies in the Use, Study, and Protection of Andean Glaciers with Javiera Barandiarán

473 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk



Controversies in the Use, Study, and Protection of Andean Glaciers event poster

Controversies in the Use, Study, and Protection of Andean Glaciers

Presented by CLALS Interdisciplinary Research Cluster (IRC) on Stressed Water Cycles, the Melting Cryosphere, and Socio-environmental Conflicts Across the Americas

Rounds of development have left many forms of debris or ruins examined by scholars, from industrial ruins to desiccated riverbeds. However, historicizing glacier loss seems different. By contrast to old industrial sites or exhausted landscapes, glaciers have typically remained out of direct human reach, that is, beyond the forces of modernization. This talk raises questions of memory, loss and development through two sites: (1) the Alto Maipo hydroelectric dam project built downstream, and underground from, glaciers in Chile’s central Andes, just outside the capital Santiago; and (2) a social inventory of glaciers recently created to complement (or perhaps challenge) a technical glacier inventory maintained by the Chilean government. Both build on a research project led by Cristian Simonetti, Jose Ragas and Javiera Barandiaran focused on glacier imaginaries in the Andes, with funding from Chile’s main research agency (ANID).

Javiera Barandiaran is Associate Professor in Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the Center of Restorative Environmental Work there. Her work explores the intersection of science, environment, and development in Latin America and California. She has published three books; two explore the market for environmental science in Chile and one asks what constitutional Rights of Nature in Chile could look like. She is currently pursuing projects on glaciers, fossil fuel decommissioning, and lithium mining. Her work has been supported by UCSB, National Science Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin, where she spent Spring 2022 as a fellow.