About the Author

Laura Moisi

E-Mail: moisilau@gmail.com

Website:

Laura Moisi studied Cultural History and Theory at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where she completed her Master of Arts with a thesis on “The Verdict of Things: Reflections on a Political Ecology of Non-Human Entities.” She is currently a research assistant and PhD Candidate in the DFG-research group “Automatisms” at the University of Paderborn in Germany. In her work she focuses on the intersection of material culture, discard studies and political theory. Her PhD thesis explores the political significance of garbage-disposal in the home and the cultural meaning of trash. Her research interests lie in the field of political philosophy, media ecology, feminist thought, and material culture studies.

Contributions by Author: Laura Moisi

Scenes of Trash

Aesthetic Order and Political Effects of Garbage in the Home

Non-human artifacts and simple everyday objects are deeply involved in the way we think about political questions. The things that become politically relevant can be as grave and hazardous as nuclear waste or polluted water, or as ordinary and uneventful as a free plastic bag in the supermarket. Objects present themselves as political beings when they make a difference: a difference with respect to issues of equality, with regard to forms of exclusion, or in relation to revolt and dissent — when they become “matter [that] comes to matter.”[2] The politics of things can be witnessed in very different ways: in protests against the global exploitation of water and crops; in the phenomenon of green or ethical consumption, that is, the idea of moral responsibility when it comes to buying clothes or toys; in issues of environmental injustice and the distribution of environmental risks and benefits, as, for instance, in situations where toxic materials and pollution harm the health of those living in marginal communities and poorer economic areas.