Sheyda Michelle Aboii

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, San Francisco, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10279

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Aboii, Sheyda (California, San Francisco, U. of) "Subsistence Fishing and a Confluence of Exposures along the Anacostia River"

Life along the Anacostia River in Washington, DC entails encounters with old toxicants through urban redevelopment. Subsistence fishers not only live with industrial toxicants but also the steadfast racialization of the river and the unpredictable impacts of capital reinvestment nearby. In this sense, Black, Piscataway, and Central American migrant fishers confront multiple forms of exposure. Preliminary research with these fishers has revealed the changing accessibility of the riverfront and intensified police surveillance of their activities with increasing waterfront development. Thinking with a confluence of exposures to environmental toxicants, racialized landscapes, and uncertain capital flow, this project explores how subsistence fishers might imagine life possible among multiple exposures. Continuing to harvest fish from the river despite standing non-consumption advisories, how might subsistence fishers pose a potential disruption to imaginaries of uninhabitable space underpinning the pressurized redevelopment of urban terrain? Two questions guide this project: (1) What constellations of actions make subsistence fishing an exceptionally visible practice along the river warranting the increasing intervention of science and surveillance? and (2) What are the social dynamics of subsistence fishers’ (in)visible relations including willful proximities to toxicants, and how do these dynamics reshape the contours of permissible engagement along the Anacostia River?