“Sky Eye”: Infrastructure, Politics and Livelihood in Southern Guizhou

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2023

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This thesis sheds light on rural life in Kedu Town, southern Guizhou. Drawing from the idea of “doubling of infrastructure” (Muehlmann 2019), I see the FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope) project as a channel for the state to highlight the political importance of scientific research, serving a “visible” purpose. This infrastructural project has what I call an “invisible” intention: it produces social activism at the local level, as villagers critique the politics of displacement, call for better compensation, and worry about future livelihoods in the pandemic and now post-Zero Covid policy era. Based on fieldwork and interviews, the thesis is that the FAST project unveils its “invisible” intention due to conflicts between the displaced residents and the local government. I also drawn attention to how the emergence of COVID-19 created new challenges to local livelihoods in the FAST era, revealing how the FAST project now has an increasingly complicated presence in Kedu Town.

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Wang, Zhushengyuan (2023). “Sky Eye”: Infrastructure, Politics and Livelihood in Southern Guizhou. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27883.

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