Weathering Saharan Dust Beyond the Spanish Mediterranean Basin: A Dialogue Between Climatology and Postcolonial Critical Theories

Monday, 11 March, 2024 - 16:00

Presented by : 

Lucy Sabin &
Jorge Olcina Cantos

This interdisciplinary dialogue between climatology and cultural studies explores the phenomenon of “Saharan dust” that passes through and beyond the Spanish Mediterranean Basin. The dialogic process seeks to unearth the power relations within which weather stories and the authors are always already entangled, with a view to re-imagining weather writing and climatic storytelling in decolonial terms. Our parallel inquiries trace how origin stories, material mobilities, atmospheres, and environmental regulation work to codify the aeolian dust as an intrusion across borders. Drawing on critical theory, we argue that this weather “from” the Sahara Desert is othered in Eurocentric weather narratives, mapping onto geopolitical logic of “Fortress Europe”. Our research is instructed by postcolonial thought, political ecology, and the speculative feminist position of weathering. Through critical engagement with science in context, we dwell lastly on African air quality and experiences of weathering atmospheric dust further upwind. Our concluding comments speculatively drift with Mediterranean winds to animate a positionality of middleness.

General seminar arrangements

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  • Participants must read the paper prior to the seminar, which is typically available by the Friday preceding the seminar.
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