Current Institutional Affiliation
Executive Director, Community Agroecology Network

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2005
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Environmental Studies, University of California / Santa Cruz
Migrating ecologies: Homegarden practice among displaced persons from rural Chocó, Colombia, resettled in the city of Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia is currently experiencing one of the highest levels of internal displacement worldwide due to a violent struggle for control over territories. Often overlooked in research about rural-urban migration and the politics of resource control are the rural knowledges, practices and plant materials that move with people. As nearly 3 million people flee the countryside, rural landscapes are emerging in the middle of Colombia's urban centers. This study will focus on the cultivation activities of displaced persons from rural Choc6 resettled in the city of Cartagena in order to demonstrate how nature-society relations are rebuilt after losing access to rural territory. The proposed research project will involve homegarden inventories, participatory garden and resource mapping, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and participant observation. It also uses an innovative methodology focused on the life histories of plant materials to draw together the data collected from the "natural" and "social" worlds. Furthermore, this research creates a dialogue between political ecology, migration studies, and agroecology that will enrich each area of scholarship.