Just an Environmental Movement? the Radical Subjectivities of the Anti-Fracking Movement in Australia

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Madelaine MOORE, Kassel University, Germany
This paper begins by problematising the label of "an environmental movement" in relation to the the anti-fracking campaign in Australia. It suggests that such a label limits the potential of the movement and misses the complexity of the subjectivities active and produced through the campaign. What began as a movement against climate change targeting coal fired power stations, has evolved into a radical alliance cutting across indigenous groups, eco-activists, local communities and farmers. What seems to be at issue for the Lock the Gate campaign is much more than fracking, and includes water, land rights, community control and to some extent who has the right to survive under neoliberal capitalist relations. Issues such as fracking are by their very nature intersectional, they provide platforms for alliance building and also show how many societal problems or injustices are intertwined with one another (whether that be the environment, health, energy and food security, racism, and so on). The campaign in Australia is ongoing, and has had significant victories in the banning on unconventional gas in the state of Victoria. This paper draws on extensive field research with the movement's participants as well as historical analysis of previous environmental movements in Australia. I employ social reproduction theory to draw out these relations, aiming to highlight the processes of subject formation and show how many movements that would traditionally be considered environmental, have become much more than that.