This film accompanies the work of anthropologists Melissa Leach and James Fairhead showing how the landscape in the transition zone from savannah to forest in Guinea, around the prefecture of Kissidougou, is not the result of decay of a once great forest but actually a complex relation between farming activities, safety necessities and villagers’ overall management and everyday life.
Leach and Fairhead discover that forest has not diminished but in fact has increased in a matter of 30 years, due to the knowledge of local populations on how to manage their landscape. This film, and the research of these anthropologists is a great way to question the very common assumption of an untouched nature (hence the rather contradictory title ‘second’ nature). The film, and the book it is based on (Misreading the African Landscape, Cambridge University Press 1996) were produced a quarter of a century ago. In discussion we can explore the ongoing, contemporary relevance of its arguments and implications, especially amidst current concerns with climate change and interrelationships between deforestation and disease.
The movie screening will be followed by a discussion with Professor Melissa Leach (Institute of Development Studies - IDS).