Rob Nixon Talk

Haley Brown

Math 33 Extra Credit

On Friday, December 1st I saw Rob Nixon give a talk called Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor and it was extremely informative. Nixon started off his talk by talking about social movements that have been arising all over the world and how these movements all have connections to each other in one way or another. He says there are certain threads that run through each movement. The common grounds concern the word “disparity” and the edges of disparity have reached a tipping point. Citizens are rising up and saying that having a huge gap between the rich and the poor isn’t right. That the greater society should have a chance for a dignified future. He adds that the word decency really resonates with Midwestern values and insists that there is an indecent distribution to access for a dignified future.

Nixon then went into to talking about the slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor. He said that we as people are used to thinking of violence in terms of “immediate, explosive and spectacular”. Which basically means that violence erupts into instant and concentrated visibility. For example, when we think of violence we think of a fist fight or a murder, quick and easy to spot. He refers to “slow violence” as violence that isn’t instantaneous and not spectacular but instead is slow and builds attrition. So at first it is hard to notice the violence that is building until it is at it’s peak. Nixon also says that the repercussions of the violence happen slowly and over a long period of time.

Nixon then moves on to talk about how our environment is being extremely affected by our weather patterns and climate change is the sole reason for that. Nixon believes that us as humans, have to make changes quickly in order to save our islands and dying wild life.

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