Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Bern, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-932

Approve Date

September 5, 2023

Project Title

Mathez-Stiefel, Sarah-Lan (Bern, U. of) "International Society for Ethnobiology, 18th Congress (2024) Cultural Landscapes: decolonial, local and indigenous perspectives"

The theme of the 18th International Society for Ethnobiology Congress is ‘Cultural Landscapes: decolonial, local and indigenous perspectives’. Hosted by Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech, Morocco, 15-19 May 2024, the Congress gathers 500 participants from diverse backgrounds and disciplines whose research, practice and inspiration is rooted in the relationship between people and nature. The framework of ‘cultural landscapes’ has become central to the search for a holistic approach to understanding – and restoring – human-nature relationships. From UNESCO World Heritage to Indigenous Cultural Landscapes, designation frameworks are multiplying and the term is ubiquitous in heritage spaces. Yet we lack an anthropologically-focused discussion of cultural landscapes and their meaning for communities that steward them. The 18th ISE Congress takes a decolonial standpoint, making space for local, indigenous and subaltern perspectives to further critical anthropological dialogue and scholarship on the topic. The High Atlas Mountains, which cradle Marrakech, provide the backdrop to the Congress. High Atlas cultural landscapes have been shaped through millennia of reciprocal, affective relationships between Amazigh communities and their landscapes. Mobilising this proximity, the Congress innovates in format, structure and location, weaving meaningful interactions with local and indigenous communities, rural cooperatives and Medina herbalists into the programme.