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Blood Red and Neon Stain: The para-site of colour in micro-mobile geographies

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date10/07/2019
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventInstitute of Australian Geographers Conference: Geographies of emergence, divergence and convergence - Wrest Point, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 9/07/201913/07/2019


ConferenceInstitute of Australian Geographers Conference
Abbreviated titleIAGC
Internet address


This paper, and the authors artwork para-site-seeing.org, uses the Leishmania parasite as a guide to multispecies travel. The parasites mobility ranges from micro-movements through the sandfly gut, to historical and global migrations within the bodies of humans and other mammals, and travel between labs as elite research colonies. The artwork is framed as a travel blogging portal for parasites, with eight different blogs that trace aspects of the historical and geographical mobility of Leishmania. The conceit of the parasite’s eye view orients us to follow the colour of liquids within which they travel, the red of mammalian blood and the blue of the Leishman Stain used to make things visible in the lab. Thinking through the colour of liquids reveals nested micro/macro assemblages of mobility, that have enabled the disease Leishmaniasis to spread with colonial travel. We also distinguish between the complexity of the parasite situated in the ‘wild’ and the parasite isolated for research, and the different politics of care that are mobilised around breeding for research, in order to prevent their mobility in the wild.