In the Shadow of the Seawall: Coastal Injustice and the Dilemma of Placekeeping
Available from University of California Press
“A remarkable book. Climate change is reducing the amount of our earth safe for human habitation, and this volume—with its particular focus on coastal communities—catches the injustice, poignance, and possibility that these shifts present. Placekeeping will become a watchword going forward.”
—Bill McKibben, author, educator, environmentalist, and Co-founder of 350.org
In the Shadow of the Seawall journeys to the low-lying lands of Guyana and the Maldives to grapple with the existential dilemma of seawalls alongside struggles to resist displacement. With the gathering momentum of ocean instability wrought by centuries of injustice, seawalls have become objects of conflict and negotiation, around which human struggles for power and resistance collide. Through stories of colonial ruination and green seawalls, the concept of placekeeping emerges—a justice-oriented framework for addressing adaptation and the global dangers of coastal disruption at the front lines of climate change. Drawing on ethnographic observation and interviews, Gray shows how seawalls are entrenched in relationships of power and entangled in processes of making and keeping place.