01/06/2023
10:00 12:00
Gregg Mitman, historien à l'université Wisconsin-Madison… Read more

L'axe "Savoirs, sciences et expertise" du CSO a le plaisir de vous inviter à sa prochaine séance qui aura lieu le 1e juin de 10h à 12h en salle K 011.

Nous invitons Gregg Mitman, historien à l'université Wisconsin-Madison, et actuellement en visite à Munich au Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, spécialiste d'histoire environnementale, de la santé et des sciences. 

A cette occasion, il nous soumet à relecture un article intitulé "Caring for Chimps as Viral Kin" (résumé ci-dessous) et présentera son enquête en cours “Fragments of the forests” qu’il mène entre la Guinée et le Libéria, à l'intersection d'enjeux d'extractivisme, de biodiversité et de santé (https://gmitman.com/). 

Gregg Mitman, "Caring for Chimps as Viral Kin"
  

Samantha, an orphaned infant, arrived at a Liberian care facility in 1976, dropped off by a man from a nearby town. At her new home, Samantha met others her age and a petite woman from New Jersey who had moved to Liberia the year before to direct the center. The infant received expert medical care and regular, healthy meals. At the age of four and continuing for five years, Samantha underwent grueling medical procedures. Anaesthetized hundreds of times, her blood was sampled and her liver was biopsied to see if her body held a virus—hepatitis B. At puberty, she gave birth to her first of several children. Samantha, known among her acquaintances as a kind and gentle being, now lives in a Liberian retirement community. There, among companions she has known most of her life, Samantha is supported by a trust fund meant to ensure her care.

Samantha is a chimpanzee, one of more than 400 taken from the Guinean Forests of West Africa and brought to Vilab II, which would become one of the world’s largest experimental chimp colonies. Established by the New York Blood Center in 1974 and operated for thirty years, Vilab II existed in a transformational moment in the relations of care between humans and their primate kin, precipitated and propagated by emergent industrial ecologies of vaccine research and production. Care, anthropologist Maria Puig de Bella Casa writes, “is more than 2 an affective-ethical state: it involves material engagement in labours to sustain interdependent worlds, labours that are often associated with exploitation and domination.”1 The complex relations of care and associated labors performed at Vilab II mutually sustained interdependent worlds: big pharma, biomedicine, ethics, conservation, animal rights, politics, and civil war. But the interspecies relationships of care at play about Vilab II are not simple stories of happy entanglements.2 Vilab II was a complex global exchange economy of circulating blood, tissues, viruses, labor, and cash. Primate relations there gave rise to countervailing affects—joy and suffering, affection and disdain, benevolence and exploitation, compassion and violence. Innuendos and rumors swirled around blood, infection, and vaccine like dust devils sustained by surface frictions and heat. Lives and livelihoods, once unrelated, became intertwined, dependent upon one another for mutual survival.

It all began with a virus.

Organized by: CSO
Event in english