Upcoming events

City: Freetown
Venue: Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone
Organizer: Sung-Joon Park, Sylvanus Spencer, Susan Erikson, David Kananizadeh

International Summer School in Medical Anthropology
Methods and Analysis Training for Planetary Care
(Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation “Knowledge for Tommorow”)

From Disasters to Planetary Care: What the August 2017 mudslide in Sierra Leone can teach us about accountability, postcolonial urban experiences, and healthy cities in the Anthropocene
(Download Call for Applications)

The international summer school “From disasters to planetary care” is concerned with the August 14 mudslide disaster that occurred in Freetown in 2017. After the experiences of civil war (1991-2002) and the recent Ebola epidemic (2014-2016), the mudslide is seen by Sierra Leoneans as yet another major national tragedy in which over 1000 fellow citizens died. Unlike the Ebola epidemic, it was a man-made disaster resulting from the massive degradation of natural and cultural landscapes in and around Freetown. Sierra Leoneans were not surprised that the mudslide took place, but they were quite surprised at the unprecedented scale of the disaster and they generally agree that it could have been prevented. How prevention is to be achieved in postcolonial African cities like Freetown, though, poses what urban planners have called a “wicked problem”(Rittel and Webber 1973), and is the subject of the proposed short course. (more…)