Kia ora, Decipher City fans!
For our October podcast, we are broadcasting not only to you, but as part of a conference for the Political Ecology Research Center which is entirely online!The event is called Feral: A Carbon Neutral Conference, and true to its name, it attempts to minimize the carbon impacts associated with academic conferences by keeping things virtual. The digital aspect is also important because it makes the conference more accessible to scholars with minimal resources; the organizers understand that if all conferences require travel, only people from the dominant narrative get to exchange ideas. This conference allows dialogue between scholars across the globe, and the possibility of international collaboration without an international price tag (and many liters of spent jet fuel). More importantly, this sounds like our kind of conference!
For this conference, we explored the feral, in particular what it means to be feral in an urban environment. Because not everyone has access to the outdoors, there is a sense that people without access fail to value what it means to be among the feral. Consequently, those without access become devalued when considering how to improve or enhance their portion of the built environment. Instead, we argue, the true value of the feral is that it should be malleable to the beholder and not just to those who have the financial capital to exploit it. Check out the podcast (now in video form and with slides) below.
Earlier this year, we provided a report on the Austin Parks & Recreation Department, and we gained a great deal of insight on how the feral is cultivated around the city. You can access it in our publications tab, or at this link: https://deciphercity.org/2018/05/01/report-parks-and-access/
Finally, special thanks to the Kiriyo Collective who helped us make our presentation nice and shiny for our friends in New Zealand. You can check out their site at kiriyo.com.