Invitation Momat Lunch Seminar: Typhoon Politics: In honour of Professor Gerry van Klinken – Retiring Professor by Special Appointment in the ‘Social and Economic History of Southeast Asia’ at MoMat.
“Disaster lays bare the real political relations in a state” (Richard Stuart Olson)
Lunch & Admission is free
12.30 Asian Lunch
13.00 Opening by Tina Harris & Gerben Nooteboom (chair)
‘Typhoon Politics in Pre-1945 Asia’ – Lecture by Gerry van Klinken (KITLV Leiden/ UvA)
‘Typhoon Politics from Below: Responsibility and Response-Ability’ – Bea Addis (student UvA)
‘Temporal Politics in Four Pre-Katrina USA Floodplains: Explaining differences using an historical ecological approach’ – Danny de Vries (UvA)
14.00 Q & A
Date and Venue
Common Room, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam (UvA), REC B/C, 5th floor.
Abstract (Gerry van Klinken)
“Victimhood is the moral content of how citizens engage with the state after a disaster” (Vasudha Chhotray)
“The Anthropocene thesis might be viewed as the positing of a `disaster to end all disasters’….. However, … the idea of the Anthropocene might also be taken as a prompt to consider the very limits of the political, and the challenge of dealing with forces that exceed the effective scope or reach of any polity” (Nigel Clark)
Of the 1.2mn killed by storms worldwide in the 20th century, 1.1mn died in Asia. 90% of those died due to storm surges that momentarily cause sea level to rise by up to 5m or more, inundating low-lying coastal areas. Despite satellite forecasting technology, the rate of deaths due to storms has not declined in Asia since the 1970s.
Japan – rich and democratic after WW2 – launched massive state-funded seawall engineering in 1959. India did nothing till after 1999, then adopted digital warning technologies. The Philippines try but fail consistently to put in place effective and fair protective mechanisms. Why the differences? Discovering the answer, with an eye on the 21st century, is the aim of my new project.
We start by examining the politics around three destructive typhoons (hurricanes, cyclones – all the same); one in each country before 1945.