Displacing Farmers and their Non/Human Relations through Internationally Funded Copper Mining in Botswana

Authors: Justyn Huckleberry*, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Development, Africa
Keywords: displacement, more-than-human relations, Botswana, copper mining, memory
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Displacements are understood as having wide-ranging impacts on livelihoods and community access to resources. Using interviews and oral histories of farmers displaced by a copper mine in Botswana, I illustrate that displacement not only changes lived experiences of those who are displaced, but also has broad relational impacts, by dispersing displaced people’s family members and neighbors; disenfranchising farmers from their cattle and land; shifting the ways that human-wildlife conflict plays out; and introducing to cattle farmers a new relationship to the mining industry. Indigenous scholars have long-written about human-animal kinship, and ongoing colonial and capitalist relations that weave (sometimes disparate) communities closer together or further apart. I argue here that this knowledge, in concert with political ecologies of development, allows for a clearer understanding of displacement impacts for a particular community of cattle pastoralists in Botswana.

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