Graduate Student Talk: Elena Sobrino
Join Elena Sobrino, a PhD candidate in the History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society program at MIT for a conversation exploring the work of Gilberto Esparza in Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere.
In this talk, Elena will discuss emergent environmentalist strategies in Flint, Michigan, a postindustrial city in the American Midwest responding to an ongoing toxic water crisis. For many residents, addressing the environmental injustice of the Flint water crisis involves reversing depictions of Flint as an empty, blighted, and toxic place. Consequently, residents ascribe value to techniques of urban gardening and recycling that render processes of remediation, restoration, and renewal highly visible. These reflections offer a new context in which to consider the water purification cycle presented in Gilberto Esparza's Plantas autofotosinthéticas [Autophotosynthetic Plants].
This will be a hybrid event with a live video that can be streamed here at 5:30 PM.
About the Speaker
Elena Sobrino is an anthropologist who studies environmental politics in postindustrial communities. As a PhD candidate in the History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society program at MIT, Elena is currently working on a project that explores how familial language and sentiments shape the pursuit of environmental and racial justice in Flint, Michigan, a community confronting a toxic water crisis that poses long-term threats to public health and infrastructure. Before coming to MIT, Elena worked in local crisis management during the Flint water crisis. As assistant director of information and planning with the American Red Cross, she distributed bottled water and filters, worked in volunteer intake, compiled reports and briefings, and served as a field worker with the Centers for Disease Control to gather information about water access and mental health in Flint households. Elena graduated with a BA in cultural anthropology and music from the University of Michigan-Flint.
MIT graduate students explore current exhibitions at the List Center through the lens of their own research, background, and interests. Join us for this interdisciplinary lecture series where we dive into how art and research are overlapping on MIT’s campus.