Re/mediation: The Story of Port Radium
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This dissertation applies Rob Nixon’s argument that “arresting stories, images, and symbols” are required to draw attention to the slow violence of environmental degradation (Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor 3) to an extended case study of the way in which narratives in various forms, media, and genres have disseminated and legitimated one Indigenous community’s claims about the violence wrought by uranium mining on their land. The case study on which the project centers is the fifty-year campaign undertaken by members of the community of Déline, Northwest Territories to obtain recognition of and remediation for the environmental, cultural, and psychological risks and damages of federally-mandated uranium mining on Great Bear Lake. Like previous scholarship on risk definition, environmental justice, and the environmentalism of the poor, this study draws out the ways in which conflicts over risk definition give rise to environmental injustice. Like some of this scholarship, it highlights the importance of narrative to legitimating officially discounted risk definitions. The study builds on existing scholarship by adding the variable of cross-cultural, multiple-media adaptation into the equation, arguing that adaptations can alter dominant perceptions of risk even as they alter the discounted risk perceptions they support. Re/mediation, the term the project coins to convey this process of restoring legitimacy to marginalized narratives through mediation, is thus offered as a problematic but ultimately effective riposte to slow violence and its attendant environmental injustices. This project is only the second book-length work on the case study at hand, and the first to analyze textual representations of it across multiple media.