Broadcasting Live from… Field Station 5

August 20th, 2019

A narrative-based podcast that discusses how geography determines many people’s relationship to resources, land, and wellbeing.

The Culture of Resistance by Land and Sea in the Anthropocene

Both land and water are essential human resources, yet access to them in the Mississippi Delta can be precarious due to governmental or corporate interests. Through sound-based media, Abbéy Odunlami and Jared Richardson’s collaborative project explores a series of narratives woven together to illustrate what life is like for many in the Delta. The piece sheds a much-needed spotlight on the ecological factors that shape the region’s urban landscape.

Broadcasting Live from Field Station 5 uses a narrative-driven podcast to detail the spatial politics of the Mississippi Delta. These episodes examine how the region’s various communities negotiate land and water. Concerning the aquatic, this project highlights the following issues in neoliberalism and waste management: the lack of drinking water in Jackson, Missouri, due to privatization of the reservoir and pollution of the river and swamplands around New Orleans by the petrochemicals industry. Regarding the terrain, the project also analyzes the racially segregated, urban space of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jackson. Scholars, including Dr. Chelsea Frazier, Dr. Justin Hosbey, and Dr. J. T. Roane respectively, shed light on how black artists and activists foreground gender and race in their articulations of environmental justice. In New Orleans, Birthmark Doulas, a midwife collective laboring in the alternative birth movement, reveals how reproductive rights intersect with environmentalism, further fortifying black feminist ecologies and solidarities (e.g. Black women and “femme”-centered institutions and issues). In Jackson, Cooperation Jackson’s worker-owned economic models represent economic justice. Together, despite industrial pollution, these two organizations expand the bodily and economic autonomy of their communities.

Across academic, artistic, faith-based, and community organizations, Broadcasting Live from Field Station 5 examines the everyday stories of the Mississippi Delta, material that simultaneously alerts us to the global malaise of environmental catastrophe and offers alternative solutions.