‘A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism…’
Borne out of a simultaneous process of social and biophysical shifts, cities are precisely such entities of man-made infrastructure layered over and within natural space. Just like her urban counterparts around the world, Kuala Lumpur as a city manifests in the form of nature transformed and still transforming in progress.
I will be exploring various aspects of KL’s political-ecological landscape in my subsequent posts. Part of my interest in this city is personal. With most of my relatives calling this city home, I have heard plenty of stories about living in KL and dealing with KL.
One theme consistently stands out in these accounts – KL has been aggressively developing through mega-infrastructural projects, and is in no hurry to slow down. It is within this context of ambitious upgradings that a range of UPE-related issues have revealed themselves – from power-laden negotiations of who dictates how and where development-driven changes take place, to how unevenly the brunt of resulting consequences are borne by different groups in the city.
Drawing on these stories, I hope to reconcile my presumptions and imagination of KL’s state of flux and its socio-spatial outcomes with the UPE concepts I encountered in class.
Read more from my sources:
- Haraway, D. (1991) “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”, Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge