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Dr Patrick Bresnihan and Dr Arielle Hesse Dept. of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

2PM, FRIDAY 25 MAY

RD005 DIT GRANGEGORMAN

ALL WELCOME

“History and politics were now a severe intestinal disorder” (McCormack, 2016)

In Solar Bones, a 2016 novel by Irish author Mike McCormack, the narrator describes caring for his wife – a ‘woman who never took to bed for anything’ – who has been struck by a sudden and severe vomiting bug. Only after several days do official reports connect her ailing body with hundreds of others contaminated by the public water supply, and his wife’s sick body becomes the latest manifestation of a sick political system that fails to maintain basic infrastructural services.

McCormack’s fictionalized account is based on real events that took place in March 2007 when Galway City was hit by an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, an acute intestinal disease caused by the parasite cryptosporidium. The contamination of Galway’s water supply lasted for 158 days and resulted in 242 confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis, although the actual number affected was far higher. A boil water notice was put in place for the duration of the outbreak, which affected approximately 120,000 people.

Drawing on the epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis and the recent history and uneven geographies of agricultural and urban developments in Ireland, this talk will describe the complex relationships forged by the parasite and the bodies (animal, human, water, land) it inhabits and connects, to think through the possibilities for infrastructural politics.

Organised by the Environmental Art and Design Seminar

Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, DIT

www.gradcam.ie/seminar/environmental-art-and-design/

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