7478 - Legacies of Radioactive Colonization

Simon J. Ortiz and Gabriele Schwab “Legacies of Radioactive Colonization” Reading from Children of Fire, Children of Water For the conference “Perceiving and Negotiating Environmental Change in the Indigenous Americas” we are proposing a reading from our collaborative project Children of Fire, Children of Water. This particular reading will focus on uranium mining and radioactive colonization on reservations, focusing on New Mexico and drawing on Simon Ortiz’s own experience in uranium mining. We will look at this story from a larger political, cultural, and social perspective, including the use of uranium to build the first atomic bomb in WWII, and its role the arms race during the Cold War and beyond. Children of Fire, Children of Water is a collaborative book project that consists of dialogical memory pieces that reflect on memory, history and trauma in today’s global world. We are drawing on both personal memories and on the collective memories gathered from two different post-World War II cultures, Native American and German. Our memory pieces perform a cross-cultural exchange between Simon Ortiz, a Native American writer growing up on a reservation under the continuing forces of US colonization, and Gabriele Schwab, a writer of German origin who grew up in postwar Germany under French and US occupation and lives in the US. Reflecting upon historical violence and the ongoing traumatic effects of colonialism, war and genocide on individuals and communities, we are using a dialogical, experimental and evocative form. A form of cross-cultural boundary work, our memory pieces look at the traces left by the histories of colonialism and wars on our respective cultural imaginaries.

Autores: Schwab, Gabriele (University of California, Irvine, Ud States of Am / USA)
Co-Autores: Simon J. Oritz


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