The Object of the Haze: A reading group

    Led writer-in-residence Theresa Wong
  • 30 September 2017, 3pm - 5.30pm

‘Haze’ is the signifier of Singapore’s worst environmental crisis to date. It not only has a permanent presence in the vernacular of city life, but endows the problem with a defined set of qualities: tiny, <2.5mm particles, particles comprised of smoke from burning peatland, an obscuration of the air that causes visibility problems. The ‘thing-ness’ of haze has done more than anything else to wreak a crisis of unprecedented proportions. More than that, it has broken through the veneer of an unfettered regional capitalism, and exposed the ways in which governance of the economy, as Anna Tsing (2004) notes, is conducted in deregulation zones where enforcement of environmental and social standards is purposely muddy. While the problem is being tackled through legal and policy means, there is an opportunity to get our heads around how to treat haze as an object – not simply something to be wished away (eg. zero-haze goals) but as an annoyance with uncertain and unpredictable boundaries, mobility and degree of permanence/impermanence, and one borne out of practices of a matching obscurity. By opening up ways of reading haze as object, participants will be invited to explore new relationships, futures and perhaps, bodies, in a new haze normal.

This event is a reading group/discussion around the object of haze. Led by Theresa Wong, writer-in-residence at Grey projects, we will structure our discussion around a number of assigned texts provided to participants upon registration.

Limited seats available, please register by 28 Sep 2017, 11pm. Register here:
About Theresa Wong:

Theresa Wong is a writer/researcher, and a sustainable development professional by trade. She has worked in policy and research around transboundary haze pollution, water and natural resource politics in the Mekong, and climate change adaptation. Her research and writing projects, which have ranged from books, journal articles, newspaper commentaries, have been developed over a number of research and teaching appointments in Singapore, the United States, and Canada. Theresa currently lives in Singapore.