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  • AutorenbildLaura Otto

AAA in Toronto: Panel on Transitions on the Yucatán Peninsula

The Mango Ataulfo has claimed its place as my absolute favorite fruit worldwide, a sentiment owed to my field research on the Yucatán Peninsula. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon these golden gems in Toronto, where I travelled to for the 2023 CASCA/AAA meeting! I presented my work on Sargassum algae at the panel "From Ruptures to Openings: Rethinking Transitions on the Riviera Maya", which I co-hosted with Catherine Whittaker. In my talk, I traced how Sargassum, and its massive landings, were initially perceived and represented as a spectacle, a temporary intervention into paradise, and shed light on the practices of dealing with the algae resulting therefrom. I argued that the spectacularization of Sargassum has waned, giving way to interpret Sargassum to be the new normal. This transition in narrating and dealing with the algae, on the one hand, allows for a focus on coastal protection in the region, but, on the other hand, leads to a redefinition of what is understood and marketed as paradise, which in turn comes at a cost for coastal communities.

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