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Sensory Borderlands
Avi Varma
Current


My PhD investigates the sensory practices, legal forms, and modes of testimony that emerge out of a colonial idea of nature as both abundant and nonlife: as a resource, as always yielding, as inexhaustible, as something that can be taken advantage of because it has no agency. Engaging with prison ecologies and so-called "desert" ecologies of the US southwest in relation to the natural infrastructures of the Rio Grande River, Sensory Borderlands considers the ways in which kinaesthetic, haptic and spatial processes such as air flow, water flow, groundwater exhaustion, vegetal proliferation, and physical movement in various environments/atmospheres become sites of assembly, political agency and epistemic struggle.