Ontological politics of hydrosocial territories in the Salween River basin, Myanmar/Burma

Source: Academia 

Taking the Salween River in Myanmar as a case study, this paper draws on a growing body of hydrosocial literature to analyze the multiple ontologies of water taking each ontology to be constituted of-and enacted within-a human-more-than-human assemblage, the spatiotemporal dimensions of which demar-cate a 'hydrosocial territory.'

This paper presents three illustrations, namely:

  • the role of the Union Government's National Water Resources Committee and how it manifests and is situated within an ontology of 'modern Water'; 
  • a Karen indigenous initiative to establish a Salween Peace Park and an associated revealing of an 'indigenous' ontology; and 
  • plans for the construction of mainstream hydropower dams and electricity export to neighboring Thailand, where different water ontologies and their hydrosocial territories collide. 

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