by Antropedia / Namla / Ambigrama

AnthroArt – Action for People and Planet is an initiative of three applied anthropology organisations – Antropedia, Namla and Ambigrama – that aims to create an international platform for connecting anthropology and art, with the purpose of deepening awareness about inequality and our relation with the environment and driving change across three geographies: Romania, The Net ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • Environmental Anthropology: On Nature, Human Communities, and the Little-Known Reality - Oana Ivan

    Environmental Anthropology: On Nature, Human Communities, and the Little-Known Reality - Oana Ivan

    We all care about the environment, one way or another. The news in recent decades about the state of the Planet has probably made us more careful about our actions, because we care about nature and what we pass on to future generations. Also, in addition to the general public, specialists in the natural sciences initiate numerous environmental protection programs. All these efforts and good intentions can sometimes be misdirected in the absence of a deep understanding of the situation on the ground. Environmental anthropology deals with the way human communities relate to the environment and use the natural resources. For environmental protection programs to become a success story, it is crucial that environmental anthropologists contribute to these programs alongside biologists, geographers or ecologists, because the human communities they study are located in protected areas and have been part of that ecosystem for hundreds of years. Offering examples from different areas in Romania, this short essay presents how environmental anthropology effectively makes a contribution. The debate on “ecological traditional knowledge,” local communities in protected areas, or “natural disasters” emphasizes the need to understand ecology from a human perspective. An absolutely must for us and our future. A text by Oana Ivan illustrated by Loreta Isac-Cojocaru and read by actress Katia Pascariu.

  • The Political Ecology of the European Periphery - Lucian Vesalon

    The Political Ecology of the European Periphery - Lucian Vesalon

    Political ecology examines the relations between communities and the environment, with a focus on the postcolonial world. Reports about human-nature interactions in geographically exotic contexts have fascinated western audiences from the very beginning. Political ecology brings an important critical dimension connected to how postcolonial politics generates social and ecological crises. Extrapolating and adapting political ecology outside the Global South is particularly challenging. The ways in which political power, economic interests, social hierarchies, as well as culture or ideologies contribute to the construction of the environment remain less discussed in Eastern Europe. The political ecology of the European periphery points to multiple violations of environmental rights, as well as the environmental victimization of individuals and communities, especially marginalized ones. The political ecology of the European periphery is an alternative discourse that mobilizes the imagination of researchers and activists to find ways of organizing nature-society relations that are both more socially just and ecologically sustainable. Read by actor Daniel Popa, with an illustration by Andreea Chirică

  • Artificial? Naturally! - Alec Bălășescu

    Artificial? Naturally! - Alec Bălășescu

    This article invites the reader to follow seemingly unrelated paths towards the same goal: making sense of what it means to be human in a world that casually blends discourses on nature, technology, and biology having at their centre the ideas of progress, optimization, and their capitalization. Within this type of current thinking, the challenges posed by climate change could be addressed technologically, the dream of ecological capitalism could continue ad infinitum, and Artificial Intelligence would be instrumental in fulfilling this promise. A closer look at the politics of optimization within and outside managerial perspectives may teach us otherwise: one of the main sources of our repeated failures related to governance and climate change lies not intrinsically with the qualities of the tools we use, but in the underlying assumptions with which we design, and the purpose for which we use, them. Between the rock of technology and the hard place of nature, humanity needs to find a new way to relate with both in order to avoid being squashed. That is, we need to revise our implicit assumptions for building our tools, to critique the thinking about our relationships with them, and to re-assess their use in order to move away from the illusions of the possibility to mitigate climate change effects and the real danger of perpetuating the status-quo of capitalist extractivism under the guise of an ecological one.Read by actor Daniel Popa , with an illustration by Andrei Pacea

  • “No Such Thing as ‘Can’t’ in the Romanian Railroads”: On Technological Ruination and Creative Maintenance in the Age of Innovation - Adrian Deoancă

    “No Such Thing as ‘Can’t’ in the Romanian Railroads”: On Technological Ruination and Creative Maintenance in the Age of Innovation - Adrian Deoancă

    At the end of a frustrating work duty, I asked Iosif, the foreman of a Romanian rail repair crew, what would have happened had his team not managed to mend the broken suspension of a cargo wagon. A routine task, replacing the part had turned into a taxing six-hour long toil: the workers had to use scavenged parts, makeshift tools and improvised fixes that one does not learn from any technical handbook. “There’s no such thing as ‘can’t’ in the Romanian Railroads!” he replied. His answer, equally fatalistic and boastful, eloquently captured the plight of state-run rails in Romania, and, more broadly, the ruin of public infrastructures in late capitalism writ large, as well as their resilience. Chronic underinvestment means that aging technologies break more frequently and pose greater risks to cargo, human life, and the environment. Under such circumstances, maintenance and repair work is both more important than ever and more difficult to undertake successfully, as understaffed repair crews fight decay with subpar parts and equipment. While their work conditions may be described at best as precarious, Romanian railroaders like Ioji take pride in the social value of their work, their responsibility to the general public, and their improvisational skills. To understand the politics of ruination and repair in late capitalism social scientists must pay close attention to the processes that underpin technological degradation and precarious work as well as to the practical and ethical struggles of the workers who are forced to make do with whatever resources might be available. This is a story of creative maintenance in an age of relentless destruction.Read by actor Daniel Popa , with an illustration by Kadna Anda

  • “It Was Beautiful, Eventually!” Nature and Ruins in Văcărești Nature Park - Călin Cotoi

    “It Was Beautiful, Eventually!” Nature and Ruins in Văcărești Nature Park - Călin Cotoi

    From the late 1700s to 2016, when it became an urban nature park, Văcărești Pit was a mixture of wastelands and modernization projects on the southern fringes of Bucharest. While always integrated in the productive and power circuits of the city, the area was also a spatial and temporal gap: created by invoking, dismantling, and re-appropriating parts of the past, as well as imagining different futures[1]. Around Văcărești Pit, real estate developers, people displaced from their homes, ecologists, politicians, visitors, passers-by, scientists, hopes, fears, fantasies, “casino capitalism,”[2] wild animals, and plants have gathered from all over the city. All these formed a more-than-human “contact zone,”[3] where wild nature and industrial ruins coexist in direct, intimate contact.Read by actor Daniel Popa , with an illustration by Cristina Barsony