Version 3.2

Fossil Health: A Conceptual Proposal for Understanding Socio-Ecological Health Dependencies in the Anthropocene

Health imaginaries are an expression of social imaginaries, or of the collective creations of signification that mediate between the social and the material. In a context of socio-ecological destruction and declining energetical availability, converging on the imaginaries that characterize a good health is a matter of political dispute. Fossil Health is a conceptual proposal, influenced by Andreas Malm’s fossil capitalism, which calls for further socio-ecological problematization of health. Our paper emphasizes this idea by focusing on critical readings of the idea of Global Health. We show how fossil imaginaries can support such critical analysis by describing Global Health as an instituting verb of the Anthropocene, being prefigurative of an overreaching fossil system. Moreover, we characterize a Fossil Health health-fix ontology that grounds Global Health imaginaries and interventions. This understanding shows how some health-related solutions to the socio-ecological problems of the Anthropocene might not adequately address the problems identified and might even sustain non-regenerative socio-ecological dependencies. Ultimately, exploring Fossil Health imaginaries is a non-reductive approach that embraces the creative nature of society and helps make spaces for alternative imaginaries.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:00
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-2
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Hegemonic worldviews and degrowth horizon


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