Learning about pastoralists’ understandings of uncertainty

Published on 7 July 2023

Shibaji Bose

PhD researcher, National Institute of Technology Durgapur

Roopa Gogineni, photographer and filmmaker from West Virginia

The second chapter of the book is an exploration of pastoralists’ understandings of uncertainty in China, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Sardinia and Tunisia through visual methods. Using documentary photography and participatory photovoice approaches, the teams in each of the countries explored how different pastoralists (men, women; young, old; richer, poorer) understood ‘uncertainty’ and how intersecting uncertain events and processes have shaped their lives.

From droughts to floods to locust plagues to major snow falls to sudden market collapses to inter-ethnic conflicts, uncertainties have shaped how pastoralists live and survive. The chapter explains the visual methodologies used and, through a series of black and white photos, highlights some of the themes that emerged from this cross-country exploration, illustrated with quotes from pastoralists on how they understand uncertainty in their own contexts.

This article is from PASTRES, a research programme that aims to learn from pastoralists about responding to uncertainty and resilience, with lessons for global challenges. PASTRES is co-hosted by IDS.

Read the full blog on the PASTRES website

The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IDS.


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