Forecasts for AnTicipatory HUManitarian action (FATHUM)
In February Dr Sara de Wit visited southeast Madagascar, together with a photographer, to study the workings of 20 water pumps and to make a reportage. The research was presented and the photography of Coen Dijkstra was exhibited during the Making a Difference: Social Sciences & Impact Conference in April. The presentation was titled ‘Water & Solidarity in Madagascar’.
Oxford Anthropology researchers have launched an international Network for Anthropologies of Forecasting Weather and Climate (AnthFOR), drawing attention to anthropologically informed work on the production, circulation, negotiation and application of weather and climate information by people, societies and organisations across the world. Anthropologists have long studied how people anticipate future events, whether using divinations, prophecies, extrapolations from historical records, local and indigenous knowledges, modelling and/or mapping. Our ethnographic attention to forecasting emphasises the entanglement of weather and climate impacts with anthropologies of knowledge, non-knowledge, anticipation and world-making. Through a series of 5 international conference panels between 2015 and 2017, and an inaugural workshop in Oxford in 2016, AnthFOR has brought together anthropologists and colleagues in other disciplines (geography, history, STS, physics) to discuss what an anthropological lens can contribute to understandings of weather and climate expertise, prediction and intervention. Members study a wide range of topics including the historical production of El Niño knowledge, the use of forecasts for humanitarian action, the provision and politics of climate services, the perception, construction and communication of flood and drought risk, data practices in weather, climate and pollution modelling, and the practical and political implications of bringing diverse forms of foreknowledge into conversation with one another.
The new AnthFOR website hosts news, events, blogs, references and other resources. For more information please contact Sophie Haines/Sara de Wit or send a message via the website contact form.