What guerrilla gardening reveals about our relationship with urban nature and culture.
Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.
Dr Elizabeth Ewart, Head of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford joins JC Niala, one of her doctoral students to discuss human relationships to nature in cities. Dr Ewart has an interest in the anthropology of everyday practices such as gardening. JC Niala's doctoral research focuses on urban gardeners in Oxford and she is interested in the what their everyday practice reveals about the way we live.Working with the case study of guerrilla gardeners who operate in cities such as London and Oxford they will explore the interactions between different types of gardeners that challenge commonly held assumptions about nature and culture.
JC is a doctoral researcher with an interest in how people’s imaginations of nature, affects the environment. With a focus on urban practice, she has worked on food sovereignty projects in Kenya . JC has used verbatim theatre as a tool for community engagement with both adaptation and mitigation strategies for dealing with climate change. JC's current ecological project 'Plant an orchestra' brings together her love of music and trees.
Elizabeth Ewart is Associate Professor in the anthropology of Lowland South America. Her research is with indigenous people in Central Brazil where she has lived and worked with Panará people. She is interested in the material and visual aspects of Amerindian lived worlds, including body adornment, beadwork, garden design and village layout and is also interested in the anthropology of everyday practices, such as child rearing and gardening.
More recently, she has been developing research in southwestern Ethiopia (together with Dr Wolde Tadesse), on local agriculture and food production, specifically in relation to a local staple, enset (Ensete ventricosum or Abyssinian banana), exploring the manifold connections between cultivation, cooking, animal husbandry, land custodianship and sense of wellbeing among Gamo communities in the southern Ethiopian highlands.