PIT talk by Robert Soden on Mapping Silences, Reconfiguring Loss: Practices of Damage Assessment & Narratives of Repair in Post-Earthquake Nepal

2018.03.06 | Marianne Dammand Iversen

Date Fri 09 Mar
Time 13:15 14:00
Location 5335-327 Nygaard

In the aftermath of major natural disasters, governments, aid agencies, and affected populations all engage in practices of sense-making to gauge the extent and severity of the crisis, guide response activities, and plan recovery. To understand the conduct and implications of these practices, we studied the damage assessment implemented by the Government of Nepal following the April 2015 earthquake. In addition, we studied post-disaster recovery in the Langtang Valley, one of the hardest hit areas of the country. We argue that the informatics of post-disaster damage assessment in Nepal played a primary role in narrating the events of the 2015 earthquake, legitimating particular practices of recovery in the aftermath, and ultimately limited opportunities for the constructive reconfigurations of social life that emerge during disasters. This research demonstrates that the forms of sense-making afforded by information technologies play central roles in enacting repair-work following crisis and breakdown.

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