The Political Ecology Research Centre (PERC) at Massey University, New Zealand, and Wageningen University co-hosted PERC’s third online conference, titled “Extraction: Tracing the Veins”, on June 29 – July 10, 2020. The conference sought to re-examine extraction and its contested place in contemporary capitalism. Presentations from across the globe included more than eighty pre-recorded video presentations as well as live keynote talks, panel discussions and ‘zoom drinks’. Conference-goers visited the conference website more than 8000 times during the conference, and there was lots of thought-provoking discussion on the panel discussion forums and on twitter. The conference also featured a ‘mini-forum’ on data mining held in conjunction with the University of Arizona.
We kept our call for papers broad, and the submissions clustered into several key themes, revealing current interest areas in the political ecology of extraction: decolonisation; indigenous knowledge and resistance; extractive industry financing; data extraction and extractivist social science practices; post-extraction imaginaries; and ‘green extraction’, among others.
Thank you to all those who took part in the conference. What I will take away most from this experience are the insights from people in diverse fields; documentary filmmakers, legal scholars, philosophers, geographers, animal studies scholars, dancers, visual artists, and many, many others. The world is a richer place when we can come together across disciplines and across country borders. And the best part is that all the conference presentations remain free and open to everyone to view at the conference webpage: https://perc.ac.nz/wordpress/extraction/.
Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University
Extraction Conference Co-Organiser