Susi Obrien


In her remarkable 2001 book, Advocacy After Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders, Kim Fortun meditates on the challenges, both ethnographic and political, of addressing the aftermath of the 1984 explosion of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India. The complex magnitude of the disaster, which killed as many as 10,000 people instantly, sickening up to 60,000, a large number of whom ended up dying in the ensuing decades, encompasses a long and uncertain timeframe, and a vast range of scales, reaching, as Rob Nixon notes ‘from the cellular to the transnational, the corporeal to the global corporate’ (444). There are related problems of agency and of epistemology, both legal and scientific.



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