Visualizing landscapes of extraction

All members of LeidenASA are invited for a presentation on ‘visualizing landscapes of extraction’ on April 19, 11-13 (venue to be announced). The presentation stems from a methodological experiment that was carried out as part of the collaboration around Field Research and Training in Ghana (Ghana FR&T). The Ghana FR&T was partially financed by LeidenASA.

The Ghana FR&T itakes place annually between January and March and focuses on fieldwork training organized by the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology together with the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.

So far mainly anthropology MA/MSc/master students participate in the programme, but the FR&T is open to MA and BA students more broadly, from Leiden University, LDE and from Ghanaian institutes. Moreover, it is a hub to develop new ideas and methodologies that may be taken up by students, and/or can lead to joint research collaboration and grant writing.

In January, the coordinator of the visual ethnography specialization in the Masters’ program of CA-DS, Dr. Mark Westmoreland, came to Ghana to collaborate with students and Ghanaian photographers of NUKU Studio, notably its director Nii Obodai, who is already involved in research collaborations with Leiden University. Mark Westmoreland, Nii Obodai, and Sabine Luning were part of a team which joined forces in a fieldtrip trying out how multiple methods of visualizing landscapes and extraction practices help to highlight imaginations and narratives around sustainability.

Photography, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) aerial photography and 360° spherical video are combined for producing images on the ground, underground and from the air. All these methods provide promising participatory ways of working and yielding photographic output that can serve as starting points of very rich conversations with local residents about the landscapes they inhabit, the livelihoods they engage in and the changing patterns of mobilities and extractions from the earth characteristic of the region.
(See our blog:

This pilot study confirmed that multimodal anthropological research, thanks to the multiplicity of means used for communicating words and images, could give a tremendous boost to Ghana FR&T as a site for methodological innovations and interdisciplinary collaborations. We are convinced that these methods can facilitate collaborations across social and technological disciplines, and between academia and the arts.

The meeting on April 19 intends to present some of our experiences and see how they can generate conversations/collaborations between disciplines and between academics, designers, artists, users of landscapes and policy makers that are seldom, if at all, taking place.

Please register for the meeting:

Date, time and location

19 April 2018
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
room 5A37