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Visualizing mining worlds, envisioning mining futures [CRG- Resource Extraction in Africa] 
Sabine Luning (Leiden University)
Robert Jan Pijpers (University of Hamburg)
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Anthropology (x) Futures (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 16
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This CRG panel ‘Resource Extraction in Africa’ invites scholars working on resource extraction to show results of their multimodal (notably visual) research practices and discuss the ethical and methodological considerations for their research strategies.

Long Abstract:

In current studies on mining, we witness an increase in the use of visual methods, often as part of collaborations between members of mining communities and researchers.

This is motivated by a broader trend in anthropology, where oppositions between ‘writing culture’ and making ethnographic films, have broken down, but also by two specific characteristics of research on (small-scale) mining. Firstly, since small-scale mining is often carried out at the margin of legality, voices and views of miners are overlooked. To counter hegemonic perspectives, methods such as ‘photovoice’ foreground alternative ‘visual storytelling’, highlighting predicaments in the present, but also promises for the future. Secondly, the proliferation of visual methods is understandable for a research field which is defined volumetrically: Underground extractive work and geological structures cannot be seen above ground. Visualization of underground work and geological lay-out – in collaborative film making, in drawing, in photography – has specific value in this context.

But do miners want to be seen and how? What are the visual cultures they participate in, what are the ‘politics of seeing’ when mining endeavours may be sustained more successfully by staying out of sight?

This panel invites scholars to show results of their multimodal research practices and discuss the ethical and methodological considerations for their research strategies. Panellists can show outcomes of their work and/or present a paper detailing research engagements. A key question this panel addresses: how do these visual ways of working allow to move beyond stereotypes and to envision mining futures ‘otherwise’?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -