Royal Anthropological Institute

Anthropology and Conservation Conference 2021

P047: Producing a Black Anthropology of the Conservation field; The experiences of BIPOC ethnographers conducting research within white dominated conservation frames

Panel convened by: Beth Collier (Independent Scholar/Wild in the City) and Dr Frances Roberts-Gregory (Northeastern University)

Both Anthropology and Conservation have been dominated by a white, colonial framing about who and what is studied or conserved, by which methods and by whom.

This panel will explore the lived experience of BIPOC ethnographers whose presence challenges these norms and whose work decolonises through knowledge production and turning the lens on euro-centric conservation systems and spaces. The panel will explore challenges within the research process related to euro-centric fields reacting to the inverted dynamics of BIPOC as observer with the power of the pen and camera.

How are we responded to as BIPOC ethnographers within spaces that have traditionally seen us as only being worthy as a subject of study, how are power dynamics expressed by white people and institutions in response to being the subject of research? How do we as BIPOC ethnographers navigate resistance to our power as an observer and analyser – in the field and in the academy? What is the psychological and practical impact of being BIPOC and researching in spaces dominated by a white narrative and how does this affect our ethnography?


White Attitudes to Black Presence in Green Spaces; Overt and Shadow Expressions of Colonial Mediation of Nature Relationships

by Beth Collier

Ecowomanist Autoethnography (EWAE): Developing a Feminist Activist Praxis for Abolitionist Ecologies

by Frances Roberts-Gregory