David Kananizadeh

David KananizadehNetwork Member

David is a PhD student at the Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion” at the University of Halle. His dissertation project investigates human-forest relations in Sierra Leone – their underlying infrastructures, as well as techno-scientific, juridico-political and ethical dimensions. Inquiring into globally circulating models of forestry and their local materializations, he pays special attention to the ways they are related to practices of care. He is currently conducting fieldwork in Kono District, Eastern Sierra Leone.

David studied social and cultural anthropology at the University of Halle, where he received his MA in 2019 with a thesis entitled“Governing by disaster: The production of space through humanitarian technologies in the aftermath of the August 14-Mudslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone”, in which he looked at how overlapping and conflicting regimes of accountability translate the disaster response to a devastating mudslide in Freetown.

His research interests include work in the anthropology of humanitarianism, phenomenology and STS, nature/culture and human/nonhuman entanglements, and questions of care and ethics.

Together with Sung-Joon Park, Sylvanus Spencer and Susan Erikson, he organized the LOST-summer school “From disaster to planetary care” in Freetown in 2019, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation’s “Knowledge for Tomorrow” program.

Current position
PhD Researcher
University affiliation
University of Halle


Translations of Care in Changing Ecologies of Human-Forest-Relations in Sierra Leone

David’s project follows practices of forest management in Sierra Leone. At the nexus of forest conservation, natural resource management and local subsistence agriculture, these practices transform Sierra Leone’s forest ecologies and connect them to global capital flows. David is particularly interested in the various ways these transformations are being justified and accounted for in front of different fora. The project illuminates human-forest relations in considering the moral dimensions of contradicting and overlapping representations of the forested landscape of Sierra Leone. By asking what futures for planetary health such representations entail, David engages in ecological anthropology’s shifts from ecology to ecologies and to the planetary on the one hand, and from adaptation to translation to care on the other hand.

Currently, David is conducting fieldwork in Kono District, Eastern Sierra Leone.