Anthropology Student takes part in Tchendukua Association conference in France


05.10.2018

This month Lampeter based Anthropology student, Bori Hardi, visited the Drôme region of France to take part in a special conference arranged by the Tchendukua Association.

 Bori 1.

Founded in 1997 by French geographer Eric Julien the Tchendukua Association unites people who wish to preserve a way of life based upon the respect of nature, of others, and the search for harmony. Over 30 years ago Julien’s life was saved by the Kogi people as he was exploring their territory in the Columbian Sierra Nevada.  One of the main aims of setting up the Tchendukua Association was to support the 25,000 remaining Kogi to defend and buy back land that they’ve lost over the years to Western businesses.

Concerned with global environmental conditions, the Kogi have repeatedly called for Euro-American environment management practices to be reconsidered. Worried that current methods are destroying the planet, they have tried a number of ways to try and ensure that their message is heard including the production of two films with award-winning filmmaker Alan Ereira. Ereira has had close links with the Anthropology department at UWTSD for many years and was also appointed a Professor of Practice at the University last year.

Despite their best efforts, the Kogi believe we remain on a course for planetary destruction. In another attempt to remedy this, they asked to work with a diverse group of European scientists to illustrate how to manage the land effectively.   Led by Eric Julien from the Tchendukua Association, and with the support of the French Minister for the Environment, a conference was arranged to further address this issue. Six representatives from the Kogi travelled to France for an exceptional dialogue between the indigenous Kogi people and Western academics. Discussions focused on today’s modern scientific approaches and those traditional approaches of the Kogi.

 Bori 2

Bori Hardi is currently studying Anthropology at UWTSD's Lampeter campus.  As part of a work she had the opportunity to take part and record the events when she met the different teams in France. As Bori is multi-lingual, she translated many of the discussions into French. She was also responsible for the production of event documents. For Bori, her place was to represent ‘youth’, which she believes to be crucially important for future generation changes. On her return from France, Bori Hardi said:

“It was a privilege to be involved with this project.  Projects about sustainability and ecology need to involve young people, without my generation's mobilisation all these efforts would be in vain. I think I am not exaggerating in saying that this project was quite a historical moment. In 1492 Christopher Columbus started his first voyage to the Americas in search of Asia and eventually destroyed entire civilisations, cultures, lands and people. About 500 years later, a group of those people [the Kogi] - whose ancestors were nearly wiped out by the Spaniards - took a plane to Europe. The difference, though, is that they came to create a dialogue with us not destroy us! And, hopefully, eventually help us in preserving the environment that we have so badly damaged. This project is the beginning of what we hope to be a long-term collaboration with the Kogi people.”

All anthropology students at UWTSD are offered and assisted to take up exciting opportunities to go abroad and carry out fieldwork.  There is a strong tradition for Anthropology as a subject at the University's Lampeter campus and according to the National Student Survey 2018 UWTSD is ranked 1st in the UK for 'student satisfaction'. The recent Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide also ranked UWTSD highly for Anthropology with a 3rd position in the UK for 'satisfaction with the student experience'.  For more information about the University's Anthropology department please visit: https://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/ba-anthropology/  

For more information about the Tchendukua Association please visit: http://www.tchendukua.com/?lang=en#.W7c1htdKiUk 

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / Arwel.Lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk