An Investigation of Stories, Narratives and Alternatives to Plastic in Cambodia

This postdoctoral fellowship investigates the potential of a group of traders and producers of processed food goods to act as drivers of plastic-free asset-based community development in Hanchey, Cambodia. The research examines local modes of valuation and the ways that productivity and efficiency are embodied. Grand narratives of modernity, including the embodiment of plastic in everyday life, will be set against and elicit small narratives, such as those embodied in attachments to traditional modes of production and packaging which have been significantly displaced. These may be contrasted to narratives embodied by “scalable solutions” to plastic, such as reusable aluminium water bottles and biodegradable polymer bags made with cassava starch.


Funding: The Seed Box, A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory

Period: 2018-2019