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Cambridge City Seminar Series: Urban Ecologies: 'Thesis VI: Living as an ensemble of socio-ecological relations'

Dr Alex Loftus
When Jan 19, 2016
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where The Boardroom, Department of Architecture
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Challenging abstract claims of the human essence, Marx writes in the sixth of his Theses on Feuerbach that the individual is instead "the ensemble of social relations". This brief aside becomes the basis for some of Antonio Gramsci's most interesting observations on the person (la persona) in which he considers the individual as an ensemble not only of 'social' but also 'natural' relations. Living as an ensemble of socio-ecolo...gical relations almost inevitably means living and experiencing contradictions in everyday life that provide both opportunities and obstacles for reconfiguring socio-ecological realities. In my paper I will seek to explore these contradictions through two urban ecological moments. First, I will look at the struggle for the right to water in the post-aparthied city of Durban. Second, I will look at the financialisation of water within London and the transformation of the household into a revenue stream.