I work with communities, academics and policy makers to help us understand how new technologies and ideas influence people's lives, landscapes as well as social and political formations.
SPACE TECHNOLOGIES, RESOURCES AND 'MULTI-PLANETARY' COMMUNITIES
2021 - 2026
This project is like my childhood dreams come true! Obviously, I'm now coming at the subject of space from a more adult (ahem) and scientific angle in that I'm building on what I've already learnt about new technologies, resources and their social impacts. Outer space is often a realm that inspires both wonder and anxiety, idealitistic imaginaries of egalitarian futures as well as horrifying visions of universal doom. And I suspect that sometimes, these imaginaries can also tell us a thing or two about our local circumstances, boundaries to our imaginations or the scales that we normally work with as part of our jobs. That's why in this project, we're working across places and scales to be able to capture some of the contradictory and surprising connections between how different people imagine life and living in this and other worlds.
FRACKING AND SHALE GAS
2015 - 2020
I can't remember exactly when I became interested in fracking as a potential research subject but I can remember quite well that I began following the news about shale gas exploration in Poland when I heard about Żurawlów - a small village in the eastern part of the country that I am also from. When I was visiting home, I called a local resident and got invited to attend a court hearing with a group of farmers who opposed Chevron's plans to explore for shale gas in their village. I was instantly hooked! Three research contracts, four book-length projects and countless texts and talks later, I've moved to something else but I'll always remain grateful to everyone I met and spoke with about fracking in England and Poland.
THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT AND DIRECT DEMOCRACY
2011 - 2015
When I arrived in Ireland in 2011, the country was firmly in the grip of austerity and a bailout plan was being implemented. I was planning to research the impact of the harsh realities on the popular conceptions of democracy. Little did I know that two weeks after I saw Dublin for the first time, I would become firmly embedded in the biggest experiment in popular democracy that the Republic of Ireland had seen for decades. Confronted by the development of this exciting and surprising experiment in ways of living and deciding together, I soon rethought my reserach (and my life at the time) around the "Occupy phenomenon". My interest in Occupy later took me also to Oakland, California. The experiences and problems that Occupiers from the Oscar Grant Plaza were facing were so unique and yet so similar to what we were struggling with in Dublin, testifying to the enduring significance of popular power for defining what democracy is.