The project is transdisciplinary in orientation, building collaboration between academics, artists and mining actors. Together we seek to co-labour understandings of the futures inspired by gold matters. The intention is not to mediate the translation of local mining knowledge and practices into a universal language of sustainability, nor to dictate normatively how sustainable development should occur in gold mining, but rather to learn about how mining actors envisage their futures, with artists guiding representations of these futures for others, those who play the role of emergent publics for our sustainability conversations.
We describe these processes as co-labouring, with the hope of developing new, more democratic, ways to frame what are described as ‘sustainability problems’ and in order to critically re-imagine sustainability. In so doing, we pay attention to the materiality of gold and its effects within the dynamics structuring mining worlds – through technological change, infrastructure development, mobility, social transformation, and all the many constituent elements that flow from the in-depth geopolitics of gold extraction.