CANCELLED: Beyond Minerals: Evidence for a broadened economies of violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)
When speaking of the stark differences between funds awarded for work on conflict timber compared to that of conflict minerals, a blood diamond campaigner stated, "Diamonds are sexy and logs are not" (Yearsley, 2000; Cited in Le Billion 2003:271). Academic research on war economies and scholarship seeking to uncover the realities of the resource curse, have seemingly been seduced by similar temptations. Today, much of the literature linking natural resources and violent conflict focuses on the exploitation, the trade, and the impact of mineral economies, ignoring in the process the broader role that natural resources play in shaping violence, and subsequently in ensuring peace. Building on an emerging body of scholarship, which calls for greater micro-level understanding and research of the dynamics of natural resource conflicts, this talk takes as its point of investigation one of the most cited yet simultaneously undertheorized case studies of the ‘resource curse’ in the world today– the Democratic Republic of Congo. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken since 2009, this talk examines how multiple natural resource geographies are at play in Congo’s wider landscape of violence by bringing attention to the role of one of the least understudied and understood natural resources on Congo's violent landscape.
Dr. Ann A. Laudati is lecturer in Human Environment Relations at the University of Bristol.