Monday, 24 September 2012

Bhopal Now: Firsthand Reflections on the Third Decade of a Continuing Disaster

The world's worst industrial disaster took place on the night of 2nd-3rd December, 1984, when poisonous gases leaked out from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in the city of Bhopal in India, killing thousands immediately and leaving an estimated one hundred thousand people permanently disabled. The afterlife of the disaster has also been remarkably poisonous -- a delayed and corrupt court settlement has brought grossly inadequate compensation to a mere fraction of the survivors through a slow and tortuous claims process; Union Carbide Corporation has successfully managed to evade liability through corporate shape-shifting after being bought out by Dow Chemical; adverse health effects and birth defects due to gas exposure continue to proliferate in Bhopal; dangerous contaminants still seep into the air, water and soil from the abandoned and festering Union Carbide factory.

However, the unremitting struggle for justice waged by survivors' groups through these decades is also a key fact about the Bhopal disaster. The first session of this workshop will feature presentations on current conditions by two representatives of Bhopal survivors' groups, and the second session will consider social movements and memorialisation in the context of Bhopal.

Saturday, 29 September 2012, 10.30 am to 4 pm
Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Kimmage Manor, Whitehall Road,
Dublin 12 (Workshop will be held in the Old Manor Building)

Session 1 (10.30 am to 12.30 pm)
Chair and Translator: Chandana Mathur, Anthropology NUI Maynooth 
Safreen Khan, Children Against Dow-Carbide, Bhopal
Balkrishna Namdev, Gas Peedit Neerashrit Pension Bhogi Sangarsh Morcha, Bhopal

Lunch (12.30 pm to 1.30 pm)

Session 2 (1.30 pm to 3.30 pm)
Chair: Tom Campbell, Kimmage Development Studies Centre 
Tomas MacSheoin, independent scholar, author of 'Asphyxiating Asia'
Pawas Bisht, Culture and Media Analysis Research Group, Loughborough University

Final Roundtable (3.30 pm to 4 pm)

All are welcome.
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