Written by Moriah Lavey
The 2018 collaborative event ethnography team for the International Society of Ethnobiology Congress has assembled! The five of us (one faculty member, one graduate student, and three undergraduate students) are in Belém, Pará in Brazil, eagerly preparing for the start of the conference tomorrow morning. I have spent the last two days exploring the city on my own, adjusting to the time difference (a meager two hours, but travel is tiring!), the language barrier, and a vastly different space. I have spent much of my time alone, walking around, taking the environment in, and anticipating this next week and a half of arduous but incredibly exciting work.
And now we are here! It really and truly is happening, with Laura adding ‘all at once’. I feel as though I spent so much time in anticipation and preparation, it is hard to make sense of the fact that the time has come. Tomorrow we will be in the field, putting into practice all that we have talked about over the last few months. We are staying at the Stada Hangar Hotel with the Hangar Centro de Conveções e Feiras da Amazônia, the site of the ISE, visible from our window. The Hangar is a massive geometric structure with windows covering the exterior that demands attention. While it certainly is daunting from the outside, the english-speaking owner of the hostel I was staying at previously assured me it feels even bigger on the inside. I am curious to see how the five of us will be able to navigate, occupy, and eventually map out the space. Our goals are lofty, but I believe in the team’s ability to do meaningful work over these next four days and beyond. I am experiencing similar levels of excitement and overwhelm, and I figure that is a good sign. Ready or not, ISE, here we come!
In the field...
Follow our team as we cover international environmental policy making meetings.
Dr. Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University
Dr. Laura Zanotti, Department of Anthropology, Purdue University
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