27.06.2023 08:02

​Markus Rudolfi presented at the 6th Nordic STS Conference 2023 in Oslo

Oslo2023 Presentation

The 6th Nordic STS Conference with the theme "Disruption and Repair in and beyond STS" took place from 7th - 9th June in Oslo.

In the panel "Soil Repair: Recuperating Human-Soil Relationships", Markus Rudolfi held a presentation about his PhD chapter on wetland restoration with the title: "The work of sign recovery in Post-Iron Curtain soils".

The abstract for the talk:

The Iron Curtain is mostly known as a metaphor for geopolitical separation between the Soviet Union and “the West”. It is less known as a technology of ecological damage for which forests were cut or mires were drained – even less since the European Green Belt initiative claimed the collateral ecological value of the former militarized border. In the study area, the transboundary protected area Bavarian Forest (Germany) and Šumava (Czech Republic), soil scientists and conservationists are working towards the recovery of wetlands which were drained for the instalment of the materialised Iron Curtain border apparatus and for the mining of peat. Whereas the work on wetland restoration itself is broadly supported and praised as a strong instrument to tackle climate change, particular histories and meanings of local soil seem to be neglected. In addition, as wetlands resurge quite slowly, they demand a different “pace of care” (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2015). Hence, my fieldwork wants to highlight that soil is told in different ways and that mire restoration in post-Iron Curtain landscapes is not only the work on a potential climate future; it is also the slow work of recovering signs of past realities that do not always fit well into contemporary realities. The study uses a praxiographic approach to soil semiosis which emphasises the situated production of meaning of anthropogenic soils during sampling trips. Rather than using (eco-)semiotics as a formal way of analysis, “pedo-semiosis” is introduced to demonstrate signs-in-action in particular landscapes.