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in the media

a selection of essays, interviews, and podcasts

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BEYOND THE ANTHROPOCENE

8 April 2024

An opinion piece on the Anthropocene, published by IAI News.

MULTISPECIES MOURNING

8 April 2024

A long-form essay on multispecies mourning in West Papua, published in the Sydney Environment Institute magazine (April 2024).

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THE IAIN MCCALMAN LECTURE

11 March 2024

A podcast of the 2024 Iain McCalman Lecture, the flagship event of the Sydney Environment Institute.

SYDNEY SPOTLIGHT

9 February 2024

An interview on anthropology, multispecies studies, and life at the University of Sydney, published by Sydney Spotlight.

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MULTISPECIES MOURNING

6 February 2024

An interview on multispecies mourning and the 2024 Iain McCalman Lecture, published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

SCALE, SPACE, AND SUBJECTHOOD

1 February 2024

An introduction to the Antipode Intervention, “Plantation Methodologies: Questioning Space, Scale, and Subjecthood,” published by 4S Backchannels.

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PLANTATION METHODOLOGIES

4 January 2024

A collection of essays examining plantations through the interconnected lens of scale, space, and subjecthood, published by radical geography journal Antipode.

 

Co-edited by Alyssa Paredes, Andres Leon Araya, and Sophie Chao, with essays by Kregg Hetherington, Alice Rudge, Desiree Kumpf, Andres Caicedo, Diana Ojeda, María José Guillén-Araya, Nicole LabrutoStuart Strange, Kimberley D. McKinson, Jolen Martinez, Alyssa Paredes, Andrés León Araya, Cristiana Bastos, and Deborah Heath.

NETWORKING WITH PLANTS

1 December 2023

A podcast on plant epistemologies in West Papua, featured in Networking with Plants in the Anthropocene. With Kate Brelje.

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PLANTATIONS

3 November 2023

An essay on plantations, published in French magazine Terrestres

Translated by Paul Fabie. Originally published in Environmental Humanities (Living Lexicon: "Plantation").

OIL PALM IMPACTS IN WEST PAPUA

7 October 2023

A guest television news feature on RTTL: Rádio e Televisão de Timor-Leste.

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Working in the landfill is challenging but necessary for the livelihoods of waste-pickers.

DILI WASTE DISPOSAL POSES ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH THREAT

4 October 2023

a blog on environmental and labor conditions at the Tibar landfill in Timor-Leste, published with Fundasaun Mahein.

CRITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY BOOK PRIZE

27 September 2023

A University of Sydney news piece on the honorable mention received by In the Shadow of the Palms from the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.

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FOOD SECURITY STARTS WITH FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

30 Aug 2023

An essay on the importance of Indigenous food sovereignty in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal, "Zero Hunger," featured in Sydney Business Insights.

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THE MULTISPECIES WORLD OF OIL PALM

21 September 2023

A podcast on the cultural meanings of parasitism and mutualism in Papuan oil palm ecologies, hosted by McGill University's Indian Ocean World Podcast.

WHY MULTISPECIES MOURNING MATTERS

26 June 2023

An audio clip on multispecies mourning, featured on The Academic Minute.

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INDEPENDENCE AND AUTONOMY IN WEST PAPUA

20 August 2023

An interview on independence, autonomy, environmental change, and racial violence in West Papua, published in Indonesian magazine Tempo.

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CAPITALISM, COLONIALISM, AND MULTISPECIES JUSTICE

10 June 2023

A conversation celebrating the launch of the Cultural Politics special issue "Multispecies Justice," hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute Podcast Series. With Danielle Celermajer, Christine Winter, Sria Chaterjee, Sue Reid, and Hayley Singer.

MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLDS

1 June 2023

A radio programme on more-than-human worlds in West Papua, featured on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)'s Soul Search.

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HOW TO MOURN A FOREST

23 May 2023

An essay on mourning practices on the Papuan plantation frontier, published in Aeon.

KANGAROO-HUMAN ENTANGLEMENTS

16 May 2023

A podcast on kangaroo-human entanglements and non-human resistance, published by Sydney Health Ethics. With Diego Silva.

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THE PROMISE OF MULTISPECIES JUSTICE

21 April 2023

A podcast on the edited volume The Promise of Multispecies Justice, published by the New Book Network's Nordic Asia Podcast. With Terese Gagnon.

TIME HAS COME TO A STOP

20 April 2023

An interview on Indigenous temporalities of resistance, published by The Pacific Circle. With Sebestian Kroupa.

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MOURNING WASTE

19 April 2023

A public talk on mourning waste in West Papua, hosted by PradaFrames and Formafantasma within the Material in Flux symposium.

THE GIFT OF PEER REVIEW

13 April 2023

A reflection on critique, community, and care in the peer review process, published by the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Center.

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DRONES, BIRDS, & THE GRAY IN BETWEEN

11 April 2023

A podcast on more-than-human mapping in West Papua, hosted by Open Environmental Data. With Madhuri Karak, Irendra Radjawali, Rini Astuti, and Micah Fisher.

GASTROCOLONIALISM IN WEST PAPUA

10 April 2023

A conversation on gastrocolonial violence in West Papua, hosted by the Pulitzer Center's Rainforest Journalism Fund. With Ahmad Arif, Franky Samperante, Okto Waken, and Harry Surjadi.

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METABOLIC (INJUSTICE)

6 April 2023

A blog on metabolic (in)justice, published in the Society for the Social Studies of Science blog, Backchannels.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS

31 March 2023

A conversation on In the Shadow of the Palms, featured in Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. With Giovanni Aloi. 

Front cover image: Janie Morgan Petyarre, 'Bush Orange Dreaming',1998, Utopia, 59 x 45 cm, acrylic on canvas.

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1. The monkey was one of several political symbols deployed during the West Papuan anti-ra

GATTY LECTURE REWIND

21 March 2023

A podcast on raciality, animality, and cosmopolitical struggles in West Papua, produced by the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. With Francine Barchett.

PALM OIL WORLDS

13 February 2023

An interview on epistemic resistance, extractive anthropology, and palm oil worlds in West Papua, featuring on the American Ethnologist website. With Kymberley Chu.

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FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH AWARDS

17 February 2023

A news piece on Sydney Environment Institute scholars David Schlosberg and Sophie Chao's 2022 Research Awards.

DECANONIZING THE FIELD

15 February 2023

An essay on decanonizing anthropology, published in the Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society (CUSAS) Magazine Lent Edition, "Decolonization."

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OIL PALM EXPANSION IN WEST PAPUA

31 August 2022

A radio interview on In the Shadow of the Palms, featured on Radical Australia - 3CR Community Radio. With Joe Toscano and Kelly Whitworth.

CONVERSATION WITH DR SOPHIE CHAO

27 September 2022

A video-conversation on more-than-human worlds and multispecies justice with artist and activist Ravi Agarwal, hosted by Samtal Jameer Samtal Jameen/Equal Terrains, Equal Selves.

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BOOK TALK - IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS

28 September 2022

A video-conversation on In the Shadow of the Palms, hosted by The Greenhouse Center for the Environmental Humanities at the University of Stavanger. With Dolly Jorgensen and Finn Arne Jørgensen.

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THEY GROW LONELY AND THEY DIE SAD

26 January 2021

An essay on the violent stakes of conservation, published in the Society for Cultural Anthropology's Theorizing the Contemporary series.

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THE PSYCHIC TERROR WROUGHT BY OIL PALM EXPANSION

April 2022

An excerpt from In the Shadow of the Palms, published in The Monthly.

WORLDS OF GRAY AND GREEN

18 August 2022

a podcast with Sebastián Ureta, co-author with Patricio Flores of Worlds of Gray and Green, in conversation with Thom van Dooren, Susan Park, and Sophie Chao, and hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute.

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CELEBRATING BIOCULTURAL DIVERSITY ON WORLD INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY

9 August 2022

A blog piece on Indigenous Peoples and biocultural diversity, published by Duke University Press on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

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IN HER OWN WORDS

9 August 2022

A photo-essay and interview on Indigenous philosophies of more-than-human coexistence and the threat of industrial oil palm expansion, featured in Palm Oil Detectives.

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THE ENTANGLEMENTS OF OIL PALM PLANTATIONS

2 August 2022

An interview on In the Shadow of the Palms with Christine Winter, featured in the Sydney Environment Institute blog.

ODE TO THE GILBERT'S POTOROO

20 July 2022

A poem on the endangered Gilbert's Potoroo, republished in Bushfire Stories from Plumwood Mountain: An Australian and International Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics. 

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PLURALIZING JUSTICE

14 June 2022

A podcast on industrial oil palm developments and Indigenous worldviews in West Papua, featured on the environmental podcast series Green Dreamer. With Kamea Chayne.

FOREST FOODWAYS IN WEST PAPUA

June 2022

An essay on forest foodways in Indigenous West Papua, published in art journal e-flux.

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WRITING NATURE IN THE ACTIVE VOICE

8 July 2022

An experiment and reflection on ecophilosopher Val Plumwood's invitation to write nature in the active voice, published in Environmental History Now. 

PACIFIC ISLANDERS EMBRACE THEIR CULTURAL PAST TO BETTER THEIR CLIMATE FUTURE

31 May 2022

Author, podcaster, and environmental activist Kamea Chayne engages with In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022) in an essay published in environmental news magazine Grist.

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MANGIATI DALLA PALMA

29 April 2022

A translated excerpt from In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), featured in the Italian news outlet Internazionale.

DE JAVA A BORNEO, DES PEUPLES AUTOCHTONES PEINENT A SE FAIRE ENTENDRE

May 2022

An interview on the Indonesian capital move project and its potential impacts on Indigenous Dayak Peoples, featured in Canadian magainze L'Apostrophe.

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IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS

29 March 2022

A podcast on In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), featured in New Books Network. With Alex Golub.

GASTROCOLONIALISM AND RESISTANCE

13 March 2022

A podcast on Indigenous foodways, resistance, and culture in Southeast Asia, featured in Poor Prole's Almanac.

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SPACEX HYPER LOOMS UNEASILY OVER INDONESIAN ISLAND

2 March 2022

A radio interview on the SpaceX project in Biak, West Papua, featured on The World. With Patrick Winn. 

Read

BRINGING A DEAD MAP TO LIFE

17 May 2022

An extract from In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), published in SAPIENS.

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BOOK EXTRACT
IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS

April 2022

An extract from In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), published in The Monthly.

THE SKY HAS NO CORNERS

6 April 2022

An essay on more-than-human kincentrism in West Papua, featured in 5 Media.

Read
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SUBJECTS OF INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE

7 December 2021

A podcast on Indigenous philosophies and intergenerational environmental justice, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute. With Christine Winter, David Schlosberg, and Joni Adamson. 

PALATE POLITICS IN AN (UN)PURE WORLD

29 April 2022

An essay on the ethical, environmental, and economic stakes of kangatarianism, published in Edge Effects. [Republished in Environmental History Now]

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INDONESIA'S NEW FOREST CAPITAL HEIGHTENS FEARS FOR ORANGUTANS' FUTURE

21 February 2022

An interview with CNN on the potential environmental and social impacts of Indonesia's capital relocation. By Tamara Thiessen.

SHOULD INDONESIA RELOCATE ITS CAPITAL?

21 January 2022

Sydney experts comment on Indonesia's rapid-fire plan to move its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, Borneo by 2024. Published in University of Sydney News & Opinion.

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PLANTATION LIFE

10 January 2022

A review of Tanya Murray Li and Pujo Semedi's Plantation Life: Corporate Occupation in Indonesia's Oil Palm Zonepublished in Inside Indonesia.

REFLECTION - ON SUBJECTS OF INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE

15 December 2021

A reflection on Dr Christine Winter’s new book, Subjects of Intergenerational Justice (Routledge 2021), published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

To read an interview with Christine, click here

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IS IT NORMAL TO TALK TO PLANTS?

29 November 2021

A video podcast on plants, people, and rethinking "normality," produced by Traces.Dreams within the Idioms of Normality podcast series. In conversation with Paul Mason.

FOOD MATTERS INTERVIEW

18 November 2021

An interview on food, diet, and culture in West Papua, published by Carleton University and the Food Matters Conference. With Grace Ingraham.

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ROAD DEVELOPMENT AND THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY IN NEW GUINEA

15 October 2021

An interview with Science on road developments and biodiversity loss in West Papua. By Dyna Rochmyaningsih.

THE PROMISE OF PARASITES

20 October 2021

An essay on parasitic species and multispecies resistance in oil palm ecologies, published by the Wenner-Gren Foundation magazine, SAPIENS

Voted Editors' Top 10 of 2021

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WRITING THE ENVIRONMENT

6 October 2021

A reflection on encounters, transformation, and perspectives in multispecies storytelling, co-authored with Hannah Della Bosca and James Dunk, and published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

PAPUA, FOOD, AND RACISM

30 September 2021

A podcast on Papua, food, race, and political symbols, produced by the University of Melbourne's Talking Indonesia podcast series. With Annisa Beta.

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LIVING WITH ASHES

26 July 2021

An essay on forest lives, deaths, and afterlives, published in the Society for Cultural Anthropology's Hotspots series, "Firestorm: Critical Approaches to Forest Death and Life."

PLURALIZING JUSTICE

1 July 2021

An essay on social, environmental, and multispecies justice in West Papua, published by Struggles for Sovereignty.

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SYDNEY ANTHROPOLOGIST WINS SCHOLARS OF COLOR FIRST BOOK PRIZE

28 June 2021

A news piece on my forthcoming book, recipient of the Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Prize. Published by the University of Sydney.

SPACECRAFTS AND SOVEREIGNTY

17 May 2021

An op-ed on spacecrafts and sovereignty in West Papua, published in The Conversation. Also available in Indonesian.

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PROPOSED BASED FOR ELON MUSK'S SPACEX PROJECT THREATENS LANDS AND LIVELIHOODS IN BIAK, PAPUA

15 May 2021

An op-ed on the potential impacts of the SpaceX project in Biak, West Papua, published by TRT World.

THE INDONESIAN ISLAND THAT COULD HOST ELON MUSK'S NEW SPACEX SITE

23 Apr 2021

An interview with BBC News on Biak, human rights, and space exploration in West Papua. By Yvette Tan and Ayomi Amindoni.

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MORE-THAN-HUMAN: AN INTERVIEW ON NATURE, CULTURE, AND INDIGENOUS KNOLWEDGE

25 Feb 2021

An interview on plant-human relations in West Papua, published by Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut. With Sanja Savkic.

Watch the original guest talk here

STORYING EXTINCTION

27 Jan 2021

A reflection on storying crisis, loss, and co-existence, inspired by the Sydney Festival Requiem panel, "An Endangered Menagerie," and published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

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ASIAN CURRENTS INTERVIEW

15 Jan 2021

An interview on the 2020 John Legge Prize-winning thesis, "In the Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations among the Marind-Anim, West Papua" published by the Asian Studies Association of Australia's Asian Currents.

CORPORATE "SORCERERS" REVEAL THE MAGICAL POWER OF CAPITALISM

22 January 2020

An essay on corporate magic in West Papua, published in SAPIENS. Voted Editors’ Top 10 of 2020.

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WHEN CRISIS BRINGS US CLOSER

31 March 2020

An essay on family, fieldwork, and faraway homes in COVID-19, published in Somatosphere. (republished in A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19).

A CANCER AT THE HEART OF THE UN

30 Dec 2020

On op-ed on the West Papua conflict, published by Southeast Asia Globe. Interviewed by Klas Lundstrom.

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RACIAL JUSTICE AND INDEPENDENCE IN WEST PAPUA

15 Dec 2020

On op-ed on racial justice and independence in West Papua, published by TIME magazine. Interviewed by Amy Gunia.

FROM PHD TO BOOK

EXPERIENCES IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

24 November 2020

A webinar on turning a thesis into a book, hosted by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. With Nathan Hollier (University of Melbourne Press), Kevin Carrico (Monash University), and Benjamin Hegarty (Melbourne University).

Password: zfG7FHRY!=3y

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LANGUAGE DIES

19 Nov 2020

A review of anthropologist Don Kulick's A Death in the Rainforest, published by SAPIENS, the magazine of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

THE IMPACTS OF TREE PLANTATIONS ON WOMEN AND WOMEN-LED RESISTANCE TO MONOCULTURES

21 September 2020

A webinar marking the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, hosted by the Global Forest Coalition.

Read the report here

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EP #62. JOB FANTASIES, WORKING WITH OTHERS, EXTRACTIVE CALLS, AND RECIPROCITY REVISITED

24 Aug 2020

A current affairs podcast  produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d’Aiola, Deanna Catto, and Michael Dunford.

AFTER 75 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN INDONESIA STILL STRUGGLING FOR EQUALITY

14 August 2020

An essay on the rights and realities of Indigenous peoples in Indonesia, published by The Conversation as part of a series to commemorate Indonesia Day. With Fidelis Sastriastanti.

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INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN A MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD

6 - 7 August 2020

A two-day workshop on putting interdisciplinary research into practice, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute and co-organized by Danielle Celermajer and Sophie Chao. This workshop was reviewed by Zsuzsanna Ihar and Hayley Singer.

Listen to Part I

Listen to Part II

KELAPA SAWIT MEMBUNUH SAGU

30 July 2020

An interview on the John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies and my research in West Papua, published by ABC News Indonesia. By Farid M. Ibrahim.

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SOPHIE CHAO AWARDED JOHN LEGGE PRIZE FOR BEST THESIS IN ASIAN STUDIES 2019

24 July 2020

The John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies is awarded annually by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. This year's Judging Panel was composed of Antonia Finnane (Melbourne), Garry Rodan (Murdoch), and Kirin Narayan (ANU).

See also

Sydney Environment Institute

History Matters

EP #60. ADAPTING METHODS, HUMAN DIFFERENCE, VIRTUAL DOJOS, AND FOGGY FIELDNOTES

27 July 2020

A current affairs podcast on COVID-19, memory and fieldwork, and ontological difference, produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d’Aiola, Deanna Catto, and Simon Theobald.

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HEALTH, HARM, HABITUS

7 July 2020

An essay on pandemic phenomenologies in COVID-19, published by critical theory and historical sociology journal Thesis Eleven as part of the online collection "Living and Thinking with Crisis."

THE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF FOOD INSECURITY IN PAPUA

14 July 2020

An essay on the cultural dimensions of food, hunger, and the environment among Marind in West Papua, published by investigative research organizationsThe Gecko Project and Mongabay.

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WEST PAPUA AND BLACK LIVES MATTER

17 June 2020

An essay on Black Lives Matter and endemic racism in West Papua, published in the online magazine Inside Indonesia.

RACISM AND SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION

IN INDONESIA

9 June 2020

A short interview on the resonances of Black Lives Matter and structural racism in West Papua, published by the ethical Indonesian jewellery venture Gardens of the Sun.

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 MULTISPECIES STORIES: WHY DO THEY MATTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS? 

29 July 2020

An essay on multispecies ethnography and human rights, published by the Australian human rights organization Right Now.

AMPHIBIOUS JUSTICE

22 June 2020

A blog on justice and amphibious living, published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

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APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY

7 September 2020

A podcast on the values of applied anthropology beyond academia,  organized by the Australian Network of Student Anthropologists (ANSA) and produced by the Australian National University's podcast and blog series The Familiar Strange. With Sophie Chao, Jayne Curnow, Derek Elias, Marcus Barber, Bronwyn Hall, Leslie Pyne, and Hanna Jagtenberg.

THE PALM OIL FRONTIER

 

WALKING THE FOREST WITH THE MARIND PEOPLE

1 June 2020

A podcast on plants, ontology, and capitalism in West Papua, produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d'Aiola.

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NATURE IN CULTURE

MULTI-SENSORY MAPPING WITH THE MARIND PEOPLE