I am a socio-cultural anthropologist with a focus on economic and legal anthropology. For the past years my research explored indigenous rights and the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With experience working in the sector, I specialize on the impacts of responsible sourcing programs in the context of the green transition to a carbon-free economy, and the extraction of cobalt in the Congolese Copperbelt. Educated in interdisciplinary studies in France, the United States and Canada, I joined UBC’s anthropology department in 2019 to complete my PhD.
Research Key Words:
Anthropology of Mining, Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cobalt, Extractive Industries, Artisanal Mining, Economic Anthropology, Global Markets, Infrastructures, Imperial Debris, Colonial and Post-Colonial Theories
Broadly speaking, my research is inscribed in the subfield of mining anthropology and explores the impacts that extractive industries hold on local communities. I study the role of Congolese artisanal miners in the cobalt industry and their integration in global markets, particularly in the battery manufacturing sector. As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) supplies seventy percent of the world’s cobalt, and artisanal miners provide twenty percent of the country’s output, their role is critical to the ‘green transition’. Increasing investments by downstream car manufacturers have focused on the development of ‘responsible’ artisanal supply answer to the perceived need for more formalization of miners linked to Western definitions of legal and illegal operations. My research focuses on the development of these ‘responsible’ sourcing projects, prompted by Western advocacy and led by corporate social responsibility (CSR) teams in some of the world’s largest companies, and their impacts on communities through a direct link between individual miners and global markets.
PhD Supervisors: Dr. Vinay Kamat and Dr. Carole Blackburn
Committee Members: Dr. Philippe Le Billon (UBC Geography) and Dr. Hannah Appel (UCLA Anthropology)
Peer Reviewed Articles
2022. “Exploring Space Mining: Avenues and Challenges for Social Sciences Research.” Environment and Planning A (Economy and Space). Under Review. (with P. Le Billon)
2022. “The Green Transition in Context: Cobalt responsible sourcing for battery manufacturing.” Society and Natural Resources. Under Review. (with P. Le Billon)
2022. “The Role of Industry Associations in Transnational Governance: An organizational analysis of the Responsible Minerals Initiative.” Regulation & Governance. Under Review. (with G. A. Sarfaty).
2022. “Relocation in Indigenous Worlds: Dynamics, justifications, and impacts.” AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. Under Review.
2022. “Land Access Rights in Minerals’ Responsible Sourcing. The case of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Resources Policy 75: 102534. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102534
2021. “Conflict Minerals and Battery Materials Supply Chains: A mapping review of responsible sourcing initiatives.” The Extractive Industries and Society 8, no. 4: 100935. (with P. le Billon) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.100935
2021. “The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s Response to Artisanal Cobalt Mining: The Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC).” The Extractive Industries and Society 8, no. 4: 101013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.101013
2022. Extracting Accountability. Engineers and Corporate Social Responsibility. Jessica M. Smith. Exertions. Commissioned.
2022. Resisting Extractivism. Peruvian Gold, Everyday Violence, and the Politics of Attention. Michael Wilson Becerril. Anthropologie et Sociétés. Accepted.
2022. Gardens of Gold. Place-Making in Papua New Guinea. Jamon Alex Halvaksz. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology. Accepted.
2022. Fabricating Transnational Capitalism: A Collaborative Ethnography of Italian-Chinese Global Fashion. Lisa Rofel and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako. Current Anthropology 62, no. 5: 820-821. https://doi.org/10.1086/717224.
2021. Fighting for Andean Resources Extractive Industries, Cultural Politics, and Environmental Struggles in Peru. Vladimir R. Gil Ramón. Anthropological Forum. https://doi.org/10.1080/00664677.2021.2017185.
2021. Hunting Game: Raiding Politics in the Central African Republic. Louisa Lombard. Journal of Contemporary African Studies. https://doi.org/abs/10.1080/02589001.2021.1958173
2021. The Dynamics of Dust. Philippe Dudouit. H-Net. https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=55608
2021. The Licit Life of Capitalism: US Oil in Equatorial Guinea. Hannah Appel. Anthropologica 63, no. 1. 10.18357/anthropologica6312021335
2020. From Water to Wine: Becoming Middle Class in Angola. Jess Auerbach. Canadian Journal of African Studies 54, no. 3. https://doi.org/10.1080/00083968.2020.1810934
2020. Under Construction: Technologies of Development in Urban Ethiopia. Daniel Mains. Politique Africaine. https://polaf.hypotheses.org/7217
2020. Fires of Gold: Law, Spirit and Sacrificial Labor in Ghana. Lauren Coyle Rosen. Journal of Modern African Studies 58, no. 4. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X20000506
2020. Industry Associations as Transnational Law Makers: The Case of the Responsible Minerals Initiative. Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Conference, virtual meeting.
2017. Mining in Comparative Perspectives, Trends, Transformations and Theories. University of Ghent, Conflict Research Group, Ghent, Belgium.
2021. Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism by Young International Scholars Autumn Research School (YISARES). University of Bremen.
2021. Baseline Study of Artisanal and Small-Scale Cobalt Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Industry Brief. Responsible Sourcing Network. Funded by Google through the Responsible Minerals Initiative. Accessible here.
2021. Global Uptake of the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas Based on Corporate Disclosure. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
2019. Mining the Disclosures 2019: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals and Cobalt Disclosures in Year Six. Berkeley, CA: Responsible Sourcing Network (With P. Jurewicz and S. Frechette). Accessible here.
2018. Mining the Disclosures 2018: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Disclosures in Year Five. Oakland, CA: Responsible Sourcing Network (With P. Jurewicz). Accessible here.
2017. Mining the Disclosures 2017: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Disclosures in Year Four. Oakland, CA: Responsible Sourcing Network (With P. Jurewicz). Accessible here.
Industry Conferences and Presentations
2021. The Future of Impact Investing: An Investor’s Guide to ESG. Deep dive: Impact Investing in Africa. Online. Impact Investment.
2021. Baseline Study of Artisanal and Small-Scale Cobalt Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Online Webinar. Responsible Minerals Initiative.
2019. Preparing your 2018 Conflict Minerals Report. Webinar Online. Assent Compliance.
2019. Conflict Minerals, Present and Future. Webinar Online. Boundless Impact Investing.
2019. Mining the Disclosures 2019: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals and Cobalt Disclosures in Year Six. Webinar Online. Responsible Sourcing Network and Aviva Investors.
2018. Conflict Minerals Reporting and Supply Chain Assessment. Assent Compliance Supply Chain Summit Series, Chicago, IL, United States.
2018. Measuring and Communication Impact. Responsible Minerals Initiative Annual Conference, Santa Clara, CA, United States.
2018. Conflict Resolution: Responsible Sourcing and Ethical Minerals. Net Impact Conference, Phoenix, AZ, United States.
2018. Mining the Disclosures 2018: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Disclosures in Year Five. Webinar Online. Responsible Sourcing Network and Responsible Minerals Initiative.
2018. Regional success stories of responsible sourcing in the Congo. AIAG Conflict Minerals Briefing, Southfield, MI, United States.
2017. Mining the Disclosures 2017: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Disclosures in Year Four. Webinar Online. Responsible Sourcing Network and Source Intelligence.
2015. Bientôt une loi pour protéger les Pygmées de RDC ?, Le Monde, September 9, 2015. [online] Accessible here.
2021 – Public Scholar Initiative (PSI)
2020 – President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award
2019 – Four Year Fellowship (4YF)
2019 – International Tuition Award
- 2020W1 – ANTH 203 (Anthropology of Drugs) with Dr. Shaylih Muelhmann.
- 2021W1 – ANTH 203 (Anthropology of Drugs) with Dr. Hugh Gusterson.
- 2021W1 – ANTH 300A (Contemporary Anthropological Theory) with Dr. Shaylih Muelhmann.
- 2021S1 – ANTH 203 (Anthropology of Drugs) with Dr. Rafael Wainer.
- 2021W2 – ANTH 100A 002 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology) with Dr. Amirpouyan Shiva.
Memberships and Other Activities
- Associate Researcher at the Centre d’Expertise en Gestion Minière (CEGEMI, Expertise Center on Mining Governance), University of Bukavu.
- Minerals Program Associate, Responsible Sourcing Network.
- Committee Member for the Certification Standard for Sustainably Produced Diamonds, SCS Global Services.
- External Consultant, IMPACT (Partnership Africa Canada).