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Marco Armiero: Mediterranean Culture Award 2022 with “Wasteocene”

We are happy to announce that Marco Armiero, director of the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, has been awarded the Mediterranean Culture Award 2022 in the section for Human Sciences with the book Wasteocene – Stories from the global dump. He recieved the award at a price ceremony in Cosenza, Italy, on the 13th of October.

This year it was the XVI edition of the Mediterranean Culture Award founded by the Carcial Foundation. The foundation represents the historical continuation of the Cassa di Risparmio di Calabria, established in Cosenza in 1861. Marco Armiero was nominated in the Human Sciences section together with emeritus professor of economy, Joan Martínez Alier and political scienteist Gille Kepel. His book Wasteocene – Stories from the global dump was published in 2021.

Summary of the book

Humans may live in the Anthropocene, but this does not affect all in the same way. How would the Anthropocene look if, instead of searching its traces in the geosphere, researchers would look for them in the organosphere, in the ecologies of humans in their entanglements with the environment? Looking at this embodied stratigraphy of power and toxicity, more than the Anthropocene, we will discover the Wasteocene. The imposition of wasting relationships on subaltern human and more-than-human communities implies the construction of toxic ecologies made of contaminating substances and narratives. While official accounts have systematically erased any trace of those wasting relationships, another kind of narrative has been written in flesh, blood, and cells. Traveling between Naples (Italy) and Agbogbloshie (Ghana), science fiction and epidemic outbreaks, this element will take the readers into the bowels of the Wasteocene, but it will also indicate the commoning practices which are dismantling it.

Get the book here!


Also recently published by Marco:

Armiero, Marco/ Biasillo, Roberta/ Graf von Hardenberg, Wilko: Mussolini’s Nature. An environmental History of Italian Fascism, MIT Press 2022.

Ruiz Cayuela, Sergio a. Armiero, Marco: Cooking Commoning Subjectivities. Guerilla Narrative in the Cooperation Birmingham Solidarity Kitchen, in: Franklin, Alex (ed.): Co-Creativity and Engaged Scholarship. Transformative Methods in Social Sustainability Research, Palgrave Macmillan 2022.

Armiero, Marco: From Waste to Climate. Tackling Climate Change in a Rebel City, in: Social Text (2022), 40 (1(150)): 69-89.


Working as a doctoral student in the Nuclearwaters-Project (ERC Consolidator Grant, PI Per Högselius), I focus on the nuclear history of Eastern Europe, especially on the territory of the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Furthermore, I investigate expert cultures in nuclear discourses, with a special interest in water-related issues in nuclear power plant decision-making. In addition, I am intrigued by the entanglement of the commercial, scientific and political interests concerning nuclear technologies, with its sometimes harsh consequences on human societies and the environment. Recently this interest has extended to energy systems as a whole in Eastern Europe, including fossil fuels and renewables. Questions of transition within international energy systems in the face of the climate crisis and recent political developments become more important, as my work progresses.