Petro-Sexual Politics in the Niger Delta: Tracing the historical roots of toxic geographies and masculinity .

01 November 2022 → 31 October 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Postcolonial studies
    • Environmental politics
    • Political economy
    • Security, peace and conflict
    • Political geography
Political ecology Niger-Delta petro-sexual politics
Project description

Despite that the Niger Delta region is the wealthiest in resources, the people of this region are amongst the poorest in the world. The region is characterised by an unseen ecological crisis due to oil spills, which have a devastating impact on the environment, and by the omnipresence of armed violence in all aspects of everyday life. This violence related to the oil-extraction, has only intensified poverty in the region, which leaves women particularly vulnerable. Despite the growing interplay between nature and gender, the issue of gender remains partly unexplored within resource extractivism research, especially in the context of the Niger Delta. Turcotte's novel framework “petro-sexual politics” situates the intersection of petroleum extraction and gender/sexual violence at the forefront of the analysis. This project aim is to provide new theorising of petro-sexual politics by situating it in a historical continuum and by analysing its everyday implications for women of the Niger Delta. This research will contribute to a better understanding of the historical origin and the permanent effects that oil-extraction has by inscribing structural violence in the social order and landscape of the Niger Delta. The resulting new theoretical insights and empirical data collected through ethnographic and archival research, cross-pollinate different bodies of literature such as gender, political ecology, and post-colonial studies.