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This panel discusses tensions between different hopes, including for conservation, and processes of ruination, which may also be driven by conservation, in contested landscapes.
Increasing environmental degradation has become a key concern for anthropologists and scholars in related disciplines. Yet, they look to conservation with mixed feelings. On the one hand, they have documented the problems for people inhabiting the ruins of past and present economic dreams and ecological indifference. On the other hand, they have noticed the ubiquitous tensions between different people’s hopes for more sustainable futures, amongst which are various models of conservation. Taking contested landscapes as its starting point and material anchor, this panel explores stories of environmental destruction, but invites the presenters to also attend to the related hopes for ecological transitions and justice. How do humans inhabit ruined temporalities and spatialities of Anthropocene landscapes? How do the undercurrents of hope and ruination present themselves in various and conflicting social practices, creating future landscapes? What role does conservation play in the tension between ruination and hope? This panel is convened by EASA’s EnviroAnt Network and explores links between the RAI conference and the 2021 EnviroAnt workshop.