Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

The Revolution Starts with Giving up Sons: Memories of Deforestation and Reproduction during Socialist Ethiopia  
Young Su Park (Haverford College)

Paper short abstract:

The forest began to rapidly disappear when every male of working age left the village to fight in the war fronts during the socialist regime in Ethiopia. The disappearance of males by forced recruitment disrupted the Oromo’s preference for sons and the sex ratio as well as landscape in Arsi.

Paper long abstract:

The forest began to disappear when every male of working age left the village to fight in the war fronts during the socialist regime in Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. To avoid mandatory conscription, the Oromo people in Arsi hid their sons, sent them to distant areas, or raised them as daughters to save their lives. Because of the separation of couples by war and political economic insecurity, marital fertility declined. Long spacing between children of Arsi Oromo usually suggested prolonged absence of fathers during the civil war. Despite the deep-rooted gender inequality and patriarchal kinship system, compulsory conscription changed the reproductive choices of Arsi Oromo. They began to prefer daughters instead of sons. The disappearance of males by forced recruitment to the socialist army disrupted the Oromo’s preference for sons and the sex ratio of a generation. The forest that once sheltered the sons of the Oromo people is no more. At the peak of forced recruitment, there were no male adults left who could farm their land in the village. Those remaining began to cut trees to make charcoal to eke out their scanty existence. The velocity of deforestation accelerated with the return of soldiers who became landless peasants set fire to the forest to claim land for cultivation. Socialist revolution left indelible scars on the bodies, families, geographies, and imagination of the community for Arsi Oromo. The haunted landscape of deforestation in Arsi is a constant reminder of the loss of sons among the Oromo in Ethiopia.

Panel Exti05
Reproduction, kinship and generation in the face of climate crisis
  Session 1 Monday 29 March, 2021, -