Design Informatics Research Seminar: Kate Symons

  • Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 16:00 to 17:00

  • Evolution House, Design Informatics Studio (Room 1.09)
    78 West Port
    EH1 2LE

The Neoliberalisation of Conservation: The Case of the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, Mozambique

This talk explores the relationship between conservation and neoliberalism. While conservation is often presented as a necessary response to protect nature from the worst excesses of capitalist development, it is also clear that the adage that you can save nature by making it into a marketable product increasingly dominates mainstream conservation and development discourse. To explore these dynamics, Kate travelled the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve in southern Mozambique, part of a major new ‘Peace Park’. Kate adopts a political ecology approach which starts from the perspective that ecological issues are fundamentally also political ones, and seeks to deeply understand these issues through in-depth engagement with people and places. Kate found that, in order to produce the kinds of pristine animal and tourist-centric landscapes demanded by the Peace Parks neoliberal conservation vision, there are contradictory and ambiguous interventions into human and animal lives.

Kate Symons is a Research Associate in Design Informatics, working on the ‘OxChain’ project, a collaboration between the Universities of Edinburgh, Lancaster and Newcastle, and international development NGO Oxfam which explores Oxfam’s current value and fundraising practices, and how these might be changed through the introduction of innovative digital technologies like the Blockchain.

Talk is free to attend and all welcome.

Take me to all events in the Design Informatics Research Seminar Series 2016 -2017.

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