Emerging discussions frame sites of extraction as ‘zones of entanglement’, and this article considers the condition of mine closure and the decision-making processes around post-mining landscape planning as one of these zones. Focusing on the recently closed Leigh Creek coal mine in South Australia, this article compares the transformation of a specific area of the mining lease by nonhumans with the community consultation processes that occurred during the mine’s closure. Drawing from Karen Barad’s theory of Agential Realism with the concepts of ‘interaction’ and ‘intra-action’, this comparison considers the way in which discursive frameworks create enclosures that prevent individual community members from enacting their ambitions for the post-mining landscape. Framing nonhumans as agentic actors this paper presents their landscape transformation as an example of what can happen if actors act both below the threshold of company awareness and from within their own worldview. It similarly explores what happens if actors reject or are unable to engage in the dominant discourses that restrict final landscape possibilities. This paper proposes that actors using distributed agency to enact socio-material landscape change presents a methodological alternative to individualistic forms of landscape planning embedded within risk management and economic viability frameworks.
Hine, A. (2021). Disrupting landscape: Enacting zones of socio-material entanglement for alternative futures, The Extractives and Society. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2021.02.009