– The World Beyond the Headlines presents —
“What is Red in Hungary’s 2010 Red Sludge Disaster?”
by Prof. Zsuzsa Gille (Sociology, University of Illinois)
*Please Note the New Time and Location*
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Social Sciences Building, Rm 122
1126 East 59th Street
This event is free and open to the public.
Register now: http://cis.uchicago.edu/sludge
As Hungary begins its presidency of the European Union, it is still recovering from the October 4 toxic spill that killed ten people and injured more than one hundred. The seven foot wave of red mud that burst from an alumina plant reservoir covered more than fifteen square miles and flooded several villages and towns. All life in the Marcal river, a tributary of the Danube, has been extinguished — fish, birds, insects, and plants. According to government officials, this is Hungary’s worst ecological disaster.
At the next lecture in The World Beyond the Headlines series, sociologist Zsuzsa Gille will place the spill and political reactions to it in context of Hungary’s postsocialist transition and the rise of a peculiar right wing party that is successfully implementing an anti-neoliberal agenda. Gille will describe how some local people make sense of this tragedy, including their views on the toxic brew held in the reservoir, on Roma victims, and on local politics.
Zsuzsa Gille is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her 2008 book, From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary, explains changing rationalizations, ideologies, andunintended consequences of industrial waste under state socialism and capitalism in Hungary.
The World Beyond the Headlines series is a project of the University of Chicago Center for International Studies. This event is cosponsored by the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies and the Program on the Global Environment.