Larisa Jasarevic

Grant Type

Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Chicago, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10066

Approve Date

October 19, 2020

Project Title

Jasarevic, Larisa  (Chicago, U. of) Beekeeping in the End Times

Beekeeping in the End Times is a collaborative ethnographic film that conveys Bosnian Muslim stories about the quickening signs of the world’s collapse. It shows local responses to the felt facts of extreme weather and climate change and their implications for the bees’ futures. The film presents three tales: about angels waiting for the End, intimated by animal endangerment; about planting on the eve of apocalypse; and about the flower named stid (“shame”) whose vanishing florets signal the “shameless” disregard of nature. The stories’ retelling by beekeepers blends with footage on ethnographic research shot within former battlegrounds, which are the new forage fronts, toxic industrial edgelands, and wild thickets. Tales are retold around apicultural predicaments that paint the stakes of anthropogenic environments and atmospheres. The environmental message of the film is inflected by the Islamic ideas of what the honeybees and the world are. Rather than depict the local ways as romantic or presumably glum–in keeping with the environmental or Islamic apocalyptic (Kirksey 2015; Filiu 2011)–the film explores an eco-eschatological sensibility of broader relevance. Connecting the tales is a personal story about the ethnographer’s research and ventures in beekeeping on the land of her native village in Bosnia. The film depicts ethnography as an engaged craft and a mode of precarious belonging in the age of climate change.