Affective infrastructure: hospital landscapes of hope and failure

Street, Alice (2012) Affective infrastructure: hospital landscapes of hope and failure. Space and Culture, 15 (1). pp. 44-56. ISSN 1206-3312

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Hospitals are designed as spaces of improvement. Yet an accumulation of infrastructural projects can lead over time to the emergence of a layered landscape made up of multiple incongruous planned spaces. This article focuses on Madang General Hospital in Papua New Guinea as one example of such a landscape. Here, deteriorating colonial buildings jostle against new gleaming constructions built with donor funds. The layered effect of the postcolonial landscape draws attention to enduring racial and class inequalities; the colonial past is rendered present in the buildings of the future. Drawing on recent work on affect in anthropology and cultural geography I argue that this landscape impresses affects of hope and disappointment on the people who inhabit it and shapes ambivalent attachments to national and state futures. This double movement of improvement and decay is analysed as a process of ruination that is intrinsic to modern spaces of improvement

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: In Special Issue: Hospital Heterotopias: Ethnographies of Biomedical and Non-Biomedical Spaces, edited by Alice Street and Simon Coleman
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Alice Street
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2013 14:32
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2013 14:32
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