On June 8, CEI-Iscte organises a talk with Mara Goldman as invited speaker. The session will be held at Iscte (Building Ala Autonoma, room AA2.28) and is open to the general public.
What does it mean to decolonize conservation? Reflections with Maasai in East Africa
As the global community grapples with how to improve biodiversity conservation efforts, Indigenous communities around the world are demanding the process of conservation itself be decolonized. In this talk, I ask what this really means globally, and in the local contexts where I have worked. I present some aspects of my own approach through my book, Narrating Nature: Wildlife Conservation and Maasai Ways of Knowing (University of Arizona Press, 2020). The book draws on over two decades of fieldwork among Maasai pastoralists in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. In the book, I seek to unsettle established ways of knowing, talking about, and managing human-wildlife relations and wildlife conservation in these landscapes and beyond, where Euro-American scientific approaches have historically dominated. I center customary Maasai knowledge production and presentation processes—in the form of narratives and the use of an active Maasai meeting/dialogue, the enkiguena. In challenging existing conservation models and the boundaries on which they rely (dividing people/nature, wild/domestic, and science/all other ways of knowing and being with nature), I ask what it might mean to talk about decolonizing conservation globally.