Mariana Garcia Arias
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew School U.
Grant numberGr. 9699
Approve DateOctober 5, 2018
Project TitleGarcia Arias, Mariana, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Most Transparent Region: An Ethnography of the Politics of Air in Mexico City,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Hirschfeld
MARIANA GARCIA ARIAS, then a graduate student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on “The Most Transparent Region: An Ethnography of the Politics of Air in Mexico City,” supervised by Dr. Lawrence Hirschfeld. Air quality in Mexico City has been a long-time problem and a constant social, technological and political challenge. Once considered the most polluted city in the world, Mexico City’s air improved dramatically becoming a worldwide example of how, with political will, the adequate investment, and the most advanced scientific knowledge, pollution could become a thing of the past. However, in the last few years, high pollution levels have been present in the capital’s air for most days of the year and, according to health officials, respiratory illnesses tripled. Currently, with the unexpected arrival of the global pandemic, the city’s air has become more relevant than ever. What things does the air set in motion in this city? This ethnographic project tracked Mexico’s City air across technological and social regimes in order to understand the object that is being created, the ways it is being rendered legible, the relationships it helps produce, as well as to comprehend the social impact of the technologies used for its control. Through the exploration of archives, healthcare systems and technological infrastructures, this project positioned itself as an ethnography of urban environmental knowledge practices in the face of what seems to be an ever more damaged — and damaging — environment.