Nelson, D. (2013). “Yes to Life = No to Mining:” Counting as Biotechnology in Life (Ltd) Guatemala. The Scholar and Feminist Online, 11(3).
Nelson weaves together a compelling if somewhat bleak story of mining in Guatemala and the impact it is having on small villages and local people. What she does especially well is show the complexities of the mining industry’s presence in the mountains of Guatemala and the many different issues at stake for the multiple actors (human and nonhuman). Without a doubt, she paints a vivid picture in support of the people labouring in the mines and affected my the huge physical presence of the mining industry, but at the same time she captures the uncertainties and occasional doubts the locals themselves have in mobilising a clear cut case against mining.
“I explore struggles over differences in live-ability and response-ability.”
Relevant for me are Nelson’s thoughts on counting and accounting. She sheds light on the modes of counting—the repertoires and regimes—and what kinds of authority they afford. At the same time, she reveals the real tensions that arise in trying to use number to capture and (re)produce the worlds we make.
“How do you balance — without particularly accurate information — quetzales to cuerdas of land, wages to labor, hopes for progress, development, and the “will to improve,” to war’s devastation and the impossible existing relations of production?”
Beer, D. (2015). Productive measures: Culture and measurement in the context of everyday neoliberalism. Big Data & Society, 2(1), 1–12.
Felski, R. (2002). Telling Time in Feminist Theory. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 21(1), 21.
Skeggs, B. (2014). Values beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of capital? The British Journal of Sociology, 65(1), 1–20.
Verran, H. (2013). Numbers performing nature in quantitative valuing. NatureCulture, 2, 23–37.