Global environmental (in)activism: a multi-sited ethnography of industrial pollution, illness and community resistance in Italy and Taiwan

Year of award: 2019


  • Angelo Ippolito

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Industrial pollution can cause deep changes in the socio-cultural framework of a community and prevent people mobilising and voicing their suffering. 

I will investigate the apparent environmentalist resignation of two communities in heavily polluted sites in Taranto, Italy and Tainan, Taiwan. I will focus on the alternative modalities of participation in environmental activism in the two communities and the practices that do not fit conventional ideas of social and political resistance. I will draw on the notion of resigned activism described by Anna Lora-Wainwright in 2017 and I will explore the ways individual and collective agency escapes the rigid power structure of pollution to reconstruct social, biological and moral balances.

The comparison between two remote communities will allow me to outline a global narrative of environmentalist resignation and to create new connections that can empower marginalised communities by synergising their claims for better policy making for environmental health.