UBC ANTH Faculty Brown Bag Series: Vinay Kamat

TUESDAY, February 25 | 11:30-12:30 pm

Room 134    |  Anthropology & Sociology Building, 6303 NW Marine Drive

“Conservation, Extraction and Environmental Justice in Tanzania”


The Mnazi Bay Marine Park in Southeastern Tanzania is the site of a large natural gas extraction project, originally developed by the Canadian energy company, Artumas. The convergence of these projects, in the same geographical space, raises many theoretical and policy-related questions regarding their ontological (in)commensurability, environmental and social justice impacts on local communities.

Drawing on ethnographic data gathered over several years, in this paper Kamat discusses why these two projects are worthy of being researched ethnographically, and in tandem, and why it is important to tell the story of how the two projects have unfolded over time, and affected the everyday lives and livelihoods of local communities. he uses ethnographic data to examine the extent to which elements of environmental and social justice are evident in people’s everyday discourses and elicited narratives, about the marine park and the natural gas project – first (doubly) dispossessed by the marine park (since 2000) and then the gas project (since 2004). In doing so, he explores the intra and inter-village variations in how people articulate their sense of environmental and social justice, over time.

Speaker Bio:

Vinay Kamat is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UBC. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in India and Tanzania. His research interests encompass global health, marine conservation, dispossession, extractive industry, and political ecology.