Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Series | The Place of Many Waters: Adani Coal and the Indigenous Politics of Presence in Central Queensland and Godda, India
Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series
The Place of Many Waters: Adani Coal and the Indigenous Politics of Presence in Central Queensland and Godda, India
Speaker: Prof Sujatha Fernandes
Join via Zoom: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for link
The Doongmabulla Springs in Central Queensland is a vast wetlands that include one hundred and eighty-seven spring vents. Doongmabulla means “place of many waters.” Since 2010, the Wangan and Jagalingou people have opposed the construction of a coal mine by the Adani corporation on their lands that would drain the springs. For the past year, they have maintained presence opposite the mine site, practicing the Waddananggu ceremony. Adani plans to ship the coal to a rural area in Godda India, where they are clearing the fields and homes of mostly Santhal villagers to build a power plant. Several Santhal villagers have stayed on their land despite coercion by Adani. In this talk, I look at the politics of presence in both places, and the use of language, cultural ceremonies, and historical memory by Indigenous peoples to protest Adani. Indigenous struggles against the coal mines and power plants are part of a long and enduring battle against colonialism that has lasted centuries.
I also offer reflections on environmental storytelling – how stories can move the world and how we invite the reader in to care about environmental injustice.
See my essay in Orion magazine
Sujatha Fernandes is Professor in the Discipline of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Sydney. Her work explores social movements, global Black cultures, migrant workers, colonialism, and climate storytelling. She is the author of five books, mostly recently, The Cuban Hustle: Culture, Politics, Everyday Life (Duke University Press, 2020).