-Global sustainability issues
-(P)Geographical Information systems
Ecogeographer maps, elicits data and deals with community issues through participatory methods.
Creative and participatory methods, while without their justified criticism of occasionally being blind to power dynamics, can play a powerful role in creating a scenario where the most marginalised voices in a community can be heard. Compared with more “traditional” research settings like workshops or focus group discussions, creative methods can foster a neutral space where the barriers of existing social structures are softened. In the case of the Coral Communities work, a number of women played a dominant role in the creation of the representation of their physical geography on the beach, in one instance overruling a decision made by men. As a conservative, patriarchal society, women’s roles in mixed-gender workshops and focus groups on Zanzibar are often more restricted due to the leading role of men in public life. As the creative methods used were “outside-of-the-box” – both in terms of the scenario (compared with a focus group discussion) and the physical space (as opposed to sitting in a village committee site), we argue that they played a subtle role in disrupting gender cultural norms by increasing women’s engagement in the activity, and by extension their agency in the research process. Timur Jack-Kadioglu, Mwambao Coastal Community Network when talking about Ecogeographer’s role in a 2 day resource mapping workshop in Zanzibar.
More information to follow.
Top image photograph Timur Jack-Kadıoğlu. Middle photographs Andy Hughes. Bottom photograph Oliver Raymond-Barker.