2023 article

Folk art, storytelling, and space: Collective memory and pesticide exposure

Adams, A. E., Saville, A., & Shriver, T. E. (2023, December 11). ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING E-NATURE AND SPACE.

By: A. Adams*, A. Saville & T. Shriver n

author keywords: Collective memory; cultural artifacts; cultural identity; farmworkers; pesticides
Source: Web Of Science
Added: January 2, 2024

Extant research regarding collective memory has established the importance of examining how socially constructed memories shape group identities, lived experiences, and realities over time. In addition, collective memory scholars have underscored the inextricable and co-shaping linkages between space, place, and collective memory. However, comparatively less is known about how collective memories are constructed and articulated in cases of environmental exposures. We argue that it is important to investigate the ways in which exposed communities preserve their stories and how their collective memories influence efforts to seek redress as well as push for broader social change. We examine a case of historical pesticide exposure and related illnesses and mortality among farmworkers in Central Florida. We ask how exposed communities translate their experiences into a cohesive collective memory, how cultural artifacts preserve their stories in the broader discursive context, and how they utilize various histories as a form of health activism. We draw on data including ten years of farmworker blog entries, in-depth interviews, and media coverage. Our analysis revealed how farmworkers created artifacts representative of their memories of environmental exposures and illnesses, as well as how they translated these experiences into a cohesive collective memory.