Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lucy Special 2: Anthropology Outreach Events in March

Hi Everyone,

BOOKINGS ARE FILLING UP FAST for the RAI's anthropology outreach events in March, which many of you have seen on the blog two weeks ago. For those of you who haven't had a chance to book free tickets yet, now is your chance to do so! Those of you who have booked tickets have asked for more details and information about the events which I have posted in this entry. Find out more about the list of speakers at the event at the British Museum, and the hands-on activities you will find at Kew!

The series of events form part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2009 and the National Science and Engineering Week (6-15 March). They are all designed to raise awareness of anthropology for the general public, and demonstrate how anthropology is playing a role in topical debates on climate change, food security and biodiversity.

The series kicks off with a free day time event at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew on the 7th of March and includes hands-on learning activities, displays and films. The second main event will be at the British Museum's Clore Centre and will involve talks, interactive activities, and information boards. These two main events will be followed up by intimate film screening at the Royal Anthropological Institute (9th-11th March) . All events are FREE but you need to book a place by calling 0207 387 0455 or emailing


The Social Life of Plants

SATURDAY 7th March 11:00am- 4:00pm

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (Jodrell Laboratory) Richmond, Surrey, TW9-3AB

This will be a daytime event where anthropologists and ethnobotanists will demonstrate the (often overlooked) interconnections between the lives of plants and people. Through films, talks, hands-on learning activities and exhibitions, participants will explore how plants affect the lives of individuals around the world, in medicine, food, materials, and rituals. The event will form part of Kew's 250 anniversary, highlighting its Breathing Life Programme, as well as forming part of the International Year of Natural Fibres. Topical concerns such as conservation, climate change, biodiversity and complimentary medicine will be explored through collaborative research being undertaken by Kew and the University of Kent.
For a list of the types of stalls and research that will be on display on the day take a look here.

Exploring Food, Connecting Communities

SUNDAY 8th March 10:30am -4:30pm

The British Museum's Clore Centre: Great Russel St. London, WC1B 3DG

This event aims to raise public awareness of local food projects within the UK and abroad, and foster future collaboration between associated groups of individuals. Presentations given by anthropologists, journalists, and organisations such as Sustain, The Soil Association, and Slow Food UK will accompany information stalls, and hands-on learning activities. Speakers at the event include: Dr. Geoff Andrews (Open University), Dr. Sam Hurn (University of Wales, Lampeter), Dr. Ursula Hudson (Slow Food Brighton & Lewis), Dr. Harry West (SOAS), Joanna Lewis (Soil Association), Zeenat Anjari (Sustain), Richard Reynolds (Guerilla Gardening), Dr. Monique Simmons (Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew), and Carolyn Steel (author of Hungry City).

Upstairs at the RAI Film Screenings: People, plants, food and film

9th-11th March

The series of anthropological events related to food, people and plants continues with a series of intimate (max 20 people) evening film screenings upstairs followed in some cases by a Q and A session with the filmmaker/anthropologist at the Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy St, London, W1T-5BT. Free snacks and drinks will be provided. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access at this time.

Monday 9th March: 6:30-8:30pm

Uncle Poison (1998)

Ricardo Leizaola, 6o mins

Filmed in the city of Caracas, capital of Venezuela, Uncle Poison is an intimate portrayal of a traditional faith healer, set against the backdrop of his community's Easter celebrations . Every day Benito Reyes receives people at his house looking for all sorts of cures. Through the personal testimony of the healer, this documentary looks at his role as a mediator between the social, natural and spiritual worlds. The producer, Ricardo Leizaola, will join us for a Q &A session after the screening.

Tuesday 10th March: 6:30- 8:30 pm

Betelnut Bisnis (2004)
Chris Owen, 52 min

Betel nut is one of the most widely used narcotics in the world. Many families living in coastal areas of Papua New Guinea, where it is grown, have come to depend on betel nut for their livelihood (trading small quantities of the nut up form the coast to sell in their local markets) as well as feeding their addiction to the drug itself. For many, the betel nut trade is the only source of cash income to pay for basic needs such as food, school fees and medicine. This is a story of one such family -Lukas Kaima and his wife Kopu-as told by their friend and close neighbour, Chris Owen, an Australian expatriate. There will be a Q &A session with Professor Eric Hirsch (Head of Department of Anthropology) at Brunel University following the screening.

Wednesday 11th March: 6:30-8:30pm

*Two short films will be shown*

The Land on which we Stand (2007)

Rebecca Payne, 31 min

This film gives us a glimpse into the life of the Landmatters Co-operative, a community of 11 adults and 4 children living in benders and yurts in rural Devon as they develop a permaculture project. Although the group own the 42 acres of land, it was originally bought for agricultural purposes and they do not have planning permission to use it for residential purposes. The film follows the group as they fight for permission to live on the land in order to create a self-reliant way of living that doesn't depend on fossil fuels.

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Tate LeFevre, 18 min

How can a radical activist movement based on limited participation in the capitalist system use the mainstream media to further its goals? This film follows members of the Freegan movement in New York City as they dumpster dive, cook feasts with salvaged food and give interview to Oprah-all while managing their own difficult relationship with the media and each other.


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