Corporatization and Water Inequalities

Corporatization and Water Inequalities


Location: Institut für Ethnologie, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Munich

Date: 21 June, 2018

Under the framework of “Die Amerikas: Forschungskolloquium zu den Amerikas aus kulturwissenschaftlicher Sicht”, CUW is invited to discuss how access to urban water has become a crucial terrain over which the expansion of market-based logic over fundamental human needs are both consolidated and contested. By tracing how urban water becomes commodified, controlled and accessed in Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, this talk asks why water inequalities are dramatically increasing in a city that is located in an area of bountiful hydrological conditions and owns one of the most successful public water utility companies in the Global South: the Public Enterprises of Medellín (EPM).

By drawing attention to the strategies of EPM to commodify the flows of water together with the everyday practices of low-income households to decommodify these flows, this talk discuss why inequalities associated with access to and control over water are so important to contemporary urban politics and urban environments, and bear on important questions of how citizenship and basic rights are conceived.

Visit the Institut für Ethnologie website for more information.