Lizé Myburgh

MA Student

Project Title: An Ethnography of Predator-Friendly Farming in the Northern Cape

The project will explore how herding as a socio-ecological activity is practiced on a farm in the Northern Cape. With the overall goal of understanding the practice itself as embedded within a particular ecology and examining dis/continuities between this type of farming and traditional forms that involve hunting of predators. These practices will be examined as a possibility for sustainable development as biodiversity, which is a key measure within climate discourses, is conserved within the farm.

The theoretical framework of this research is that of entanglements between humans, infrastructure, and animals. Particularly, a multispecies ethnography will be adopted to trouble human exceptionalism which sees humans as separate from ecological necessities. This ontological understanding has contributed to the climate crisis through constructing a denial of the fact that we are inherently dependent on ecologies leading to overexploitation. The aim of this research then is to expand the analysis of what is ‘social’ to include those critters, infrastructures and ecologies that are often excluded.

Keywords: herding, sustainable development, multispecies.