Özge YakaOct 23, 2023
Fighting for the River
Gender, Body, and Agency in Environmental Struggles
University of California Press 2023
Fighting for the River: Gender, Body, and Agency in Environmental Struggles (U California Press, 2023) portrays women's intimate, embodied relationships with river waters and explores how those relationships embolden local communities' resistance to private run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plants in Turkey. Building on extensive ethnographic research, Özge Yaka develops a body-centered, phenomenological approach to women's environmental activism and combines it with a relational ontological perspective. In this way, the book pushes beyond the "natural resources" frame to demonstrate how our corporeal connection to nonhuman entities is constitutive of our more-than-human lifeworld. Fighting for the River takes the human body as a starting point to explore the connection between lived experience and nonhuman environments, treating bodily senses and affects as the media of more-than-human connectivity and political agency. Analyzing local environmental struggles as struggles for coexistence, Yaka frames human-nonhuman relationality as a matter of socio-ecological justice.
Özge Yaka is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin.
Alize Arıcan is a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University and an incoming Assistant Professor of Anthropology at CUNY—City College, focusing on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican.