OCTF seminar followed by Q&A – all welcome. NB all times given in UK time
How should we share the truth about the environmental crisis? At a moment when even the most basic facts about ecology and the climate face contestation and contempt, environmental advocates are at an impasse. Many have turned to social media and digital technologies to shift the tide—but what if their strategy is not only flawed, but dangerous? In this seminar, Bram Büscher reflects on what happens when environmental actors turn to the internet to save nature. He shows how conservation efforts are transformed through the political economy of platforms and the algorithmic feeds that have been instrumental to the rise of post-truth politics. Developing a novel account of post-truth as an expression of power under platform capitalism, the seminar shows how environmental actors attempt to mediate between structural forms of platform power and the contingent histories and contexts of particular environmental issues. Bringing efforts at wildlife protection in Southern Africa into dialogue with a sweeping analysis of truth and power in the twenty-first century, Büscher makes the case for a new environmental politics: one that radically reignites the art of speaking truth to power.
The seminar is based on a forthcoming book with University of California Press, out in December 2020. For more information, see: truthaboutnature.com.
Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University and holds visiting positions at the University of Johannesburg and Stellenbosch University. Bram has published widely on the relations between nature, development and politics and is the author of ‘Transforming the Frontier. Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa’ (Duke University Press, 2013) and co-author, together with Robert Fletcher, of ‘The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature Beyond the Anthropocene’ (Verso, 2020). Bram is one of the senior editors of Conservation & Society (www.conservationandsociety.org).