Relief Remix

Dryer, Theodora; Salomón, Amrah

The word relief has many interpretations, from remedy, rest, and help to distinguishing contrasts, edges, and surface inequalities. Policymakers, governments, and private technology interests use the term “relief” in a form of Orwellian double-speak to name the harm they cause by the idea of its opposite. By doing this, these entities seek to control the contours and edges of global water and climate transitions, dictating the terms of engagement past, present, and future. The contributors to the 2022 Water Justice and Technology report first came together in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to confront the plethora of relief initiatives that furthered structural inequalities. In our first report, we outlined how relief, and as a corollary, crisis, function in technology-driven water governance to control and limit access to life’s necessities...