Expelled and Sacrificed
Exploring Lithium and Resistance
The global north’s shift to a decarbonized economy has become predicated on access to resources that facilitate new modes of energy production and consumption. One of the most prominent of such resources is lithium, which underpins modern electric vehicles and large-scale battery technologies. The sites of extraction of this mineral have become epicenters of resistance from local and Indigenous communities, and this resistance can be understood as more than simple opposition. Using the framework of sacrifice zones and Saskia Sassen’s concept of expulsions, this paper shows that resistance is an inseparable part of a commodity whose extractive logic is predicated on the erasure of people and space, and highlights the contradictory conception of lithium as a part of ‘clean energy’.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Lochlann Kerr
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