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People rushing towards the boat as it is docked on a good day.

Weather information and livelihoods in Mafia Island

Fasco Chengula (University of Roehampton PhD Student)

Fasco Chengula (PhD research student, University of Roehampton) in the Field in Mafia Island, Tanzania

Having completed all the administrative logistics and research clearance from relevant authorities, I finally arrived in Mafia archipelago, one of the most important Indian Ocean ancient trading networks, scattered over the Indian Ocean 21 km off the Rufiji River Delta in central Tanzania, home to whale sharks, ancient Swahili city ruins of Kua, Chole and Kisimani Mafia as well as a world class scuba and snorkeling diving center.  I had an opportunity to introduce myself and the research I am doing to the Mafia District Commissioner (DC), District Administrative Secretary (DAS), and District Executive Director (DED) and met a number of stakeholders relevant to my research: heads of Department at Mafia District Council (e.g. Fisheries officer, Community Development officer, Land officer, Natural resource and environment officer, Tourism officer and Agricultural officers); Mafia Marine Park;  Kua Ancient Swahili town conservation society; Mafia Airport Meteorological section; Mafia Island Lodge Diving centre (great users of weather data for diving excursion) ; Fishing  groups in Kilindoni town and Jibondo Island and women fishing groups.

Plate 2: A view of Kilindoni Port, Mafia Island as you Land down at the Mafia Airport. Photo by Fasco Chengula

Plate 3: Whale sharks are a popular tourist attraction in Mafia, and a contributor to local economy and, revenue for Mafia District Council. To see this incredible marine mammal, you must consult local fishermen who possess enormous local ecological knowledge of the ocean and its bio-physical resources. Photo by Fasco Chengula

Plate 4: King of Kua remains of a double storied palace at the Ancient Kua Swahili city ruins in Juani Island, Mafia. Photos: Fasco Chengula

Small-scale rustic fisheries activities are a strong component of the local livelihoods and economy in the Island. Small scale farming (food and cash crops such as rice and coconuts respectively), tourism, small business activities and livestock keeping are also practiced. Mafia islands are also known for boat building which is justly famous throughout East Africa, with hand tools and hand-forged nails to create the jahazis, dhows, mashuas and ngalawas you will see in Mafia.

Mafia’s weather and oceanic conditions exhibit certain features that are unique to Coastal Tanzania and East Africa. Being highly influenced by trade wind systems (Northeast monsoon December to April, and southeast monsoon June to October) and pronounced moisture convergence in Indian Ocean sea breezes, Mafia Archipelago is the highest receiver of rainfall in coastal Tanzania

The lunar cycle, not only controls fishing schedules, but also influences most of the tourist activities (diving excursions to experience marine life such as swimming along with whale shark/ school of whale sharks, shoals of fish, turtles  and coral life). Weather information not only helps tour guides (boatmen) to truck marine organisms that are of interests to tourists and obtain the best visibility for their guests but also to avoid strong currents and ensure safety.

Plate 5: Top, Fishermen preparing fishing nets and boats for night fishing; Bottom, fishermen offloading fish/landing from day fishing.

Movements from one island to another in Mafia can only be done using rustic boats, and dhows whose operations and schedules is depend on weather and tides. Swahili phrases such as “Bahari/ pwani ikiwa shwari, in shaa Allah” (in case the ocean is calm, God willing) are common phrases you can hear when people conclude a plan/agreement of activity schedule for the next day. The Kua Ruins in Juani Island extending over more than 40 acres with a large double storied palace is an archaeological site from the 12th Century, established by settlers from Kilwa can be accessed by boat across the Bay from Utende only during the high tides.  The Kua Ancient town preservation Society formed by residents of Juani Island are the only certified local tour guides who stays at the entrance gate close to the boat landing site to receive guests only when its high tide. “We do not expect visitors during low tide, since the tides are not predictable; we depend on information from experienced fishers’ fishing around the area” said the Kua Ancient town preservation Society chair when I visited the site.

At the far south-western tip of Mafia, is the Kisimani Mafia, a submerged old town. Most of its ruins are highly susceptible to ocean wave erosion whose strength, magnitude and frequency is believed to have increased over the recent years due to rising sea level.

Plate 6: Still Standing (top) and almost gone (bottom) water well ruins along the beach of Kisimani Mafia ancient town whose part is said to have been submerged.

Plate 7: Water well built in the times of yore of the Kisimani Mafia ancient town which Still in use today by the local community.

The focus of this study is to explore and document ethnography of the intangible marine local and indigenous knowledge heritage of weather forecasting (LIKS) among fishing communities in Mafia Island, and to investigate their role in strengthening coastal rural livelihoods amidst changing climate in Tanzania. This research is being conducted at a time when LIKS in weather and climate is lacking in the scientific literature, and highly needed to inform international policy processes. This study is also at the core of the intangible marine cultural heritage for which the UNESCO’s Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme (LINKS) was established in 2002. Coming blogs will feature how local fishers in Mafia Island predict weather using knowledge acquired through years of experience in interacting with the ocean.

People rushing towards the boat as it is docked on a good day.

Sensing the Marine Environment: Everyday experiences of a fishing community

Victor Alati (University of Roehampton PhD Student)

I am conducting my fieldwork at Gazi – a fishing village located about 60 km south of Mombasa along the Kenyan coast. Gazi is one of the major fish-landing sites along the Kenyan coast. It is mostly known for its efforts in the conservation and restoration of mangrove resources. There are over 200 fishers deriving their livelihood from the sea. Fishing gears predominantly being used include: ringnets, gillnets, handlines, spearguns and basket traps.

My study aims to utilize ethnographic approaches to understand fisher’s sociocultural experiences, practices, beliefs, opinions, moralities, values, identities and way of life through identifying their sensory categories and meanings and to test these existing approaches. It will mainly rely on participant observation and interviews with fishers to produce day-by-day written, descriptive details that are part of fishers’ daily round of life.

Ringnet fishers preparing to go fishing early in the morning

Figure 1:Ringnet fishers preparing to go fishing early in the morning. Each ringnet crew comprises of about 30 fishermen.

My observations each day begin very early in the morning at the beach as fishers prepare to leave. By midday, fishers begin to return from fishing grounds with the catch. The fish are weighed and then sold to fish traders.

On a good day, ringnet fishers can land tonnes of fish. Fishers make phone calls to fish traders and community members while at sea to inform them about the good catch. Everyone in the village is overjoyed when large quantities of fish are landed. At the beach, large numbers of fish traders and community members are observed eagerly waiting for the boat to dock. Children are also seen playing at the beach. When the boats dock, people are seen rushing towards the fishers to welcome them back.

People rushing towards the boat as it is docked on a good day.

Fig. 2: People rushing towards the boat as it is docked on a good day. On this particular day, over 100 kg of fish was given out free of charge to the community members to celebrate the bumper harvest.

Since there are currently no storage facilities at the landing site, all the landed fish is sold while still fresh. “On a good day like this one, the smell of fish lingers all over the village!” says one of the fishers. “We give extra fish free of charge to community members who flock to the beach to welcome us back. Nearly every household gets a share of the catch,” he added.

On a bad day, however, few fish traders can be seen standing at the beach looking dejected. Most community members are normally not observed at the beach. Bad days frequently occur during the southeast monsoon season. “Good days occur during the northeast monsoon season, which begins this September,” another fisher says.

Fish traders are leaving the beach with empty buckets on a bad day.

Fig. 3: Fish traders are leaving the beach with empty buckets on a bad day.

Through participant observation, I expect to establish relationships with fishers based on rapport and trust. This will enable me to carry out my research more effectively. I plan to accompany some of the fishers in fishing trips from October 2019 to understand fishing experience and culture.

The people of the sea will connect you to the world more than the Island internet!

Monicah Sairo (University of Roehampton PhD Student)

Karibu Lamu Tamu’ (welcome to sweet Lamu) was the first phrase that attracted my attention as a researcher when I first landed on the historic Island. Captain Bakari had said this to me while inviting me onboard his small beautiful dhow.  ‘The sweetness of the Island is in the ocean’, said Bakari. After a lengthy chat Bakari concluded by reiterating that he and his family have depended on the sea for years. Unfortunately, my journey was only half an hour and hence, I did not get to delve further into the exciting conversation.  However, the encounter with Bakari, and the chit-chat on my way to my hotel, prepared me to confront such ‘pregnant’ statements.  As I began to understand the uses of sayings and symbols seems to be part of the everyday conversation among the Lamu people.

Monicah waiting for the captain, traditional dhow

At one point, on my way to the hotel, Captain Bakari, suggested a few things to do in the Island as a tourist but explaining to him who I was he was quick to recommend things I should do as a student and or a Nairobian who studies in London. My position and different personas were the second things that I had to grapple with, being a young woman, an outsider, a student from the UK, a Kenyan, a Maasai all these personas in one way or the other have on many occasions influenced the varied relationships. I have begun to develop. My identity as Maasai woman on the Island in most instances becomes the entry point of long candid conversations. However, most reactions mostly depended on my response to questions such as, “Which part of Kenya are you from?”, “Is this your first time in Lamu?” or “How long will you be here for?”  Although these were very common questions in my first week in the Island, I must admit that I now begin to feel part of the society. I have been invited to attend youth activities such as the Youth Dialogue Forum and the Art of Breathing Talk, among others. Through this conversations, I, have been able to develop contacts with different artists/artisan and craftspeople on the Island. Furthermore, I have been able to expand my research contacts mainly through recommendations from the different people that I meet, in different social spaces, such as eateries, museum, art and crafts studios and youth creative spaces among others.

Monicah at a youth creative space in Lamu

Having been on the Island 7 years ago, I couldn’t help noting the obvious changes around the ocean. The ocean is a constant point around which my activities circulate but also there were changes such as the use of new fiberglass boats, motorcycles, and the unavoidable sight of pollution along the beaches. The new boats and motorcycles seem to be part of the main transport around and within the Lamu Archipelago which complement, and in some areas, have replaced the traditional dhows and donkeys. Walking between some Islands such as Lamu and Shela, one is constantly forced to give way to the motorbikes, and this seems to be the trigger to chit-chats between the pedestrians. One man, riding a donkey, said to me, ‘I hate to admit that these bikes are a nuisance but a blessing to the youth, it is a source of employment’. Another pedestrian joined in the conversation and was quick to give his opinion, ‘I think they are dangerous, not many of the riders are professionally trained, and they have caused a lot of unrecorded accidents’.

One captain of a traditional dhow said to me, ‘New boats are saviours to many but sadly come with a cost…..many people have opted for these boats because of cost of making and maintaining them. However, they are not as comfortable as the traditional dhows and in addition they have contributed to pollution of the sea.’

sdr

This is just an excerpt of how my everyday life in Lamu is developing. The Lamunian are very friendly, engaging and curious people, this has made it easy for me as a researcher to search for information. However, the amount of information from everyday engagements has been overwhelming.

Needless to say, the Island’s enthralling history, intimate alleyways, deserted beaches and slow pace of life captivates travellers and this will often stir up exciting conversations.  ‘This is an insanely happy place’, said a female tourist who was ending her visit. She smiled ruefully as the boat man replied to her, “Leaving the Island is a disease, to come back is the cure’.

Part of the Bagamoyo beach with local boats

Bagamoyo visitors love the sea—and want to get on it, University of Dar Es Salaam students find

Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu:

Undergraduate students Martha Kipande, Daniel Antony Munuo, Noella Mrosso and Javern Aveline Sabas and postgraduate student Neema Munisi report on their findings.

Part of the Bagamoyo beach with local boats

Photo 1: Part of the Bagamoyo beach with local boats

 Photo by E. Ichumbaki

A team of students from the University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM) have been out and about in the Tanzanian fishing town of Bagamoyo finding out what some of its over 17,000 visitors a year enjoy—and what they’d like more of. Unsurprisingly, the natural beauty of the beach and its busy fishing community rate highly. But the students—on UDSM’s Heritage Management programme at the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies—also found that visitors would relish a trip on a traditional boat. Undergraduate students Martha Kipande, Daniel Antony Munuo, Noella Mrosso and Javern Aveline Sabas and postgraduate student Neema Munisi report on their findings.

Bagamoyo’s beach, with its busy fishermen, traditional wooden sailing boats, fine sand, clear water and seashells is a key attraction for tourists visiting the town, we found in a questionnaire we conducted among visitors this month as part of the Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu (Our Sea, Our Heritage) project. “The lives of people, fishing boats, dhows, white sand, the sunset, clean beach and palm trees are all very interesting” one Danish tourist, a postgraduate student, told us. A Russian visitor said simply that, “The beach is the best”.

Daniel and Martha interviewing a tourist from Spain

Photo: Daniel and Martha interviewing a tourist from Spain

Photo by Neema Munisi

Tourists were also interested in the sights and history of the town itself—citing its historic architecture, fish market, curio shops, food, people, climate and slave-trade history among its attractions. “The old-style buildings have not changed,” noted a tourist from South Korea, “The structures are still original.”

We conducted the survey over almost two weeks. For us—young people waving clipboards in the street—the main challenge was to win the trust and patience of visitors, and also to convince the tour guides that we were not stealing their business. Many tourists were in a hurry. Some ignored us, and others thought we were beggars!

But, in the end, we gathered more than 110 reponses, and were amazed by the results. People enjoyed their stay, but there is a clear market for boat-trip experiences that is not currently being satisfied. Overwhelmingly, respondents said they’d love to go on a traditional boat—especially one with a sail—for activities such as visiting an island or snorkelling. A German tourist interviewed by Daniel Munuo was typical—he favoured going on a short boat trip using a tradition wooden boat with a sail. But, with very few exceptions, these activities are not available in the town, and they are not publicised at all.

As a group we enjoyed face-to-face conversation with visitors from more than 20 countries, including Brazil, Israel, Australia, Mexico, Spain, the USA, Ghana, German, the UK, and Zimbabwe. “It was a great experience interviewing the tourists and I was amazed with their response,” says Javern Aveline Sabas, another UDSM team member. But as a group we have also enjoyed the food, festivals and people, who are simply lovely. “Being a Maasai and coming to Bagamoyo for the first time was a season to remember”, says Martha, a member of the UDSM student team. Like many of the tourists, “I really enjoyed the culture and the authenticity of the people especially engaged fishermen at the beach.” “Walking from one street to another, and restaurant to restaurant to talk to tourists and get their feelings about Bagamoyo was my first experience but indeed evidence that undergraduate and postgraduate students can collaborate to produce tangible outputs” says Neema, another team member and UDSM postgraduate student.

Martha and Javern interviewing tourist from United States of America (U.S.A)

Photo: Martha and Javern interviewing tourist from United States of America (U.S.A)

Photo by an unknown

Bagamoyo is a quiet town, with a seafront area that is packed with historic buildings, some of which are crumbling, while others are still in use. It was once a very prosperous settlement, and the main port of mainland Tanzania until the increasing size of ships moved international trade to Dar Es Salaam. It was also a major port for ivory and slaves.

Currently, the historical buildings of Bagamoyo are managed by Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), which aim to revitalizing the old ‘stone town’ area.

For a better experience in Bagamoyo, tourists said they also wanted a good map of the town, and better signage, street lighting and public transport. One Brazilian tourist interviewed by Noella Mrosso also suggested “better prices on accommodation and better internet.”

Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu is a collaborative research project investigating ways of leveraging Bagamoyo’s rich maritime heritage for social benefit. Part of the Rising from the Depths Network, it brings together researchers from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the Universities of Exeter and Southampton in the UK. It is funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Rising from the Depths Call Three Launched

The third and final funding call for the Rising from the Depths Network has launched.

The call will be funding projects up to £10,000 that will disseminate the wider aims of the network (the
importance and utility of MCH in Eastern Africa) and that will enhance or create links between the
existing project portfolio.

Read the full call here.

2 Contemporary capulana with designs linked to coastal themes, purchased for the project in Maputo, July 2019

Women’s Identity, Textiles and Heritage: Coastal Style in Mozambique (WITH Coastal Style)

Women’s Identity, Textiles and Heritage: Coastal Style in Mozambique (WITH Coastal Style) is a one-year project (June 2019-June 2020), researching and promoting women’s identities and concerns linked to marine heritage in Katembe District, Maputo, Mozambique.

 

The project is an international collaboration between National Museums Scotland, the Fortress Museum (with Eduardo Mondlane University), and the Fisheries Museum in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Rising from the Depths Network in the United Kingdom https://risingfromthedepths.com/.

In July, I travelled from Edinburgh to Mozambique for two weeks on the first of three project visits to undertake start-up meetings with our project partners at the Fisheries and Fortress Museums, launch the project and begin the research. During the first week we held a public event at the Fortress Museum, an imposing 19th century building located on the city’s busy waterfront. The event was well attended by a variety of interested groups, including artists, designers, and academics, and at the last minute I was invited to promote the event on local radio. Co-Investigators Moises Timba from the Fortress Museum, Valda Marcos of the Fisheries Museum and John Giblin from National Museums Scotland introduced the interests of the project partners and Professor Paul Lane and Dr Solange Macame from Rising from the Depths introduced the aims of the network and the scope of the fascinating projects underway along the east African coast.  Also present were Project Research Assistants based at Eduardo Mondlate University, Claudio Mondlate and Emilia Machaieie.

At the Project launch event, Fortress Museum, Maputo, July 2019

At the Project launch event, Fortress Museum, Maputo, July 2019

I provided a detailed overview of the project background, aims and outcomes, which seeks to contribute to knowledge of marine cultural heritage (MCH) on the eastern African coast and identify ways, in times of change, that MCH can be utilized to build social cohesion. This project identifies the fundamental role of textiles and dress in the development and maintenance of identity, as expressions of the connections between people and place. It takes as its focus the role of the Mozambican capulana printed cotton cloth as markers of female identity and as archives of women’s histories and memories.

As a symbol of Mozambican heritage, capulana have been preserved and passed from one generation to the next and with them the stories of the women who wear them.  The project will focus on collecting these stories from the women who live and work among the six fishing communities of Katembe, situated on the southern bank of Maputo Bay. The projected urbanization of this region following the opening of the suspension bridge in 2019 directly linking the capital to Katembe by road, and cutting journey time into South Africa, will impact on material practices and living traditions among women in these coastal communities. Through the research local women will have the opportunity to share, not only information relating specifically to their material heritage, the capulana, but also their experiences related to life in this coastal community, and this, amongst other project outcomes, will be presented to the community and wider audiences through exhibitions in Maputo and Katembe.

Over thirty guests were present at the launch. These included students in tourism, journalism, heritage and the arts, fashion designers and representatives from ISAC (Higher Institute of Arts and Culture) and CCBM (Centro Cultural Brasil-Mozambique), the media and the museum sector. A lively question and discussion session followed the presentations, relating to issues of Mozambican material culture, heritage and identity. Conversations continued over the delicious accompanying lunch provided for guests, set out under the trees in the grounds of the Fortress. Huge thanks are due to Oswaldo, Sigone and Ed for their excellent language translation skills.

At the fish and sea food stall near the Maputo-Katembe ferry quayside July 2019

At the fish and sea food stall near the Maputo-Katembe ferry quayside July 2019

During the second week in Maputo, we undertook a visit to the district of Katembe, the focus of the research. Here, with the support of the President of the Community Council of Fisheries, we held the first of six planned focus groups with women from the fishing communities. In the shade of trees close by the jetty of Maputo-Katembe ferry we met a small group of women who had agreed to take time out from attending their stalls of fresh fish and seafood to share fascinating insights into the role of the cloths in daily life, in celebrations and as indicators of religious and political identity. We are interested to understand whether certain coastal themed designs have any cultural significance for coastal communities and a distinctive sea shell design was recognised from the photographs we showed from the NMS (1990s) capulana collection. They also confirmed that there were designs shared and worn by women in the community, of which we will learn more during further individual interviews. Interestingly, we were also told that another item of Mozambican clothing, the lenço, a patterned headscarf which has an even longer history of use than the capulana, is obligatory dress for the fish sellers, a requirement of health & safety regulations. From this first discussion I feel sure there are many more insights to come and I am particularly interested to hear the response of the younger generation to their clothing traditions as we progress.

At the focus group near the Katembe-Maputo ferry quayside July 2019

At the focus group near the Katembe-Maputo ferry quayside July 2019

Following the meeting, the team travelled along the coast to connect with other fishing communities in Katembe district, where they will continue the fieldwork in the next few months. I return in November when we will begin to develop the planned project exhibitions, one at the Fortress Museum and another community travelling exhibition. Interesting and exciting times ahead!

The collection of project inspired coastal themed capulana cloths has also begun for the Fisheries Museum, as a new resource for visitor engagement, and to add to NMS collections. Check out these great designs.

Contemporary capulana with designs linked to coastal themes, purchased for the project in Maputo, July 2019

Look out for further project updates from all the team.

Sarah Worden. August 2019

National Museum of Scotland Eduardo Mondlane Fortress Museum and Fisheries Museum Logo
Fishers haul a fishing ngalawa onto the beach at Bagamoyo before the tide ebbs (Image: L.K. Blue)

A maritime heritage paradox: aspiration and preservation on the beaches of Bagamoyo, Tanzania

Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu Project Team:

John P. Cooper, University of Exeter

Elgidius Ichumbaki, University of Dar Es Salaam

Lucy Blue, University of Southampton

 

The first field season of the Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu project is under way. Academics from the University of Dar Es Salaam, the University of Exeter, and the University of Southampton are working with fishing and boatbuilding communities around Bagamoyo to examine the stresses this heritage faces, while documenting its material and intangible manifestations. As the project progresses, the team will hold community events to celebrate this heritage and develop pathways to heritage sustainability.

Fishers haul a fishing ngalawa onto the beach at Bagamoyo before the tide ebbs (Image: L.K. Blue)

Figure 1: Fishers haul a fishing ngalawa onto the beach at Bagamoyo before the tide ebbs (Image: L.K. Blue).

The Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha has a fleeting, but transformative effect on the seascape off the Tanzanian coastal town of Bagamoyo. On any other day, a glance out to sea would reveal an industrious scene of fishers setting nets and traps, mostly in locally made wooden boats powered by sail our outboard motor, or otherwise heading out to more distant fishing grounds. On the town beach, teams of stevedores and crew would normally be noisily loading timber, vegetables or livestock bound for Zanzibar, or unloading bright yellow plastic containers of cooking oil coming from there. But on Eid morning, the scene is unusually empty, as the community prepares to celebrate with feasting and family time in community with the global Islamic ummah.

The gradual appearance of a handful of fishing boats on the water as the day progresses, however, is a sign that not all is well among the Bagamoyo fishing community. A smattering of fishing lamps on the sea after dark shows that some are working even into the night. “In the past, no one would have gone fishing on Eid,” on elder fisher tells us. “But these days, some people cannot afford to lose a single day”.

The inshore waters of Bagamoyo, as elsewhere along the Tanzanian coast, are increasing overfished, with even immature stocks being depleted. Meanwhile the human population is rising, with more fishers active, and demand for fish on the up.

Fishing in Bagamoyo is arranged around small crews operating small, privately owned, wooden boats. The large majority of craft are striking sailing dugouts fitted with outriggers, called ngalawa, used for line and net fishing, with a smaller number of stout mtumbwi dugouts powered by outboard engines for setting traps and nets. A smaller fleet of larger plank-built vessels, up to 11m long, are also powered by outboard engine: recent innovations, they pursue sein netting by day or night. Other similar-sized plank-built daw still use sail.

A range of fishing vessels—mtumbwe (front), ngwanda (rear left) and mtando (rear right)—moored on the waterfront at Mlingotini (Image: J.P. Cooper)

Figure 2: A range of fishing vessels—mtumbwe (front), ngwanda (rear left) and mtando (rear right)—moored on the waterfront at Mlingotini (Image: J.P. Cooper).

“You won’t find a single person in this town who would prefer to keep the sail if he was offered an engine,” says one fisher. With coastal waters overfished, the need of communities dependent on fishing to go further and faster in pursuit of fish trumps any sentimental attachment to sailing craft as ‘heritage’ objects. This does not mean that people are not aware of the historic importance of their craft. “I would like to see research conducted into the origins of the ngalawa and its connections across the Indian Ocean,” one fisher tells us. Yet owners of the sailing ngalawa struggle to make a living for their families, and builders of larger plank vessels complain of the soaring cost of timber.

Bagamoyo is a historic town. Its role as entrepôt of the East African slave trade and capital of the short-lived German East Africa has left a series of historic buildings. Tourists come from near and far to see these—but few miss the beach and its maritime bustle, and most rate it as a highlight of their visit. Polling by University of Dar Es Salaam heritage management undergraduate students as part of the Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu project is beginning to reveal the prominent role that traditional boats, especially those with sails, play in the tourist experience of the Bagamoyo. Yet the relationship between tourists—especially those pointing cameras uninvited—and porters, fishers and boatbuilders on the beach is not always a comfortable one. Work clearly needs to be done to improve mutual understanding and beach etiquette.

Members of the Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu project team, together with fishers, boat-builders and spiritual practitioners, at a project co-creation event aimed at identifying the key issues faced by the community (Image: unknown photographer)

Figure 3: Members of the Bahari Yetu, Urithi Wetu project team, together with fishers, boat-builders and spiritual practitioners, at a project co-creation event aimed at identifying the key issues faced by the community (Image: unknown photographer).

The more fundamental issue, however, is the disconnect between the ailing economic health of traditional maritime activities for the Bagamoyo community, and its value to that community, and its visitors, as a globally important cultural and heritage asset. The wooden sailing boats and their attendant cultural practices have to weather an economic storm of overfishing and rising material costs: if not, they could disappear at a rapid rate as technological alternatives come to market and accelerate a fishing-technology ‘arms race’. If that happens, they would take with them a wealth of material, spiritual, cognitive and linguistic heritage. Preventing that loss cannot entail forbidding fishers and sailors from seeking prosperity through changing practices. But the solution might be through finding new ways to deploy and valorise this heritage—even on a smaller scale.

Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – Women’s work

East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project Team:

Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University

Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University

Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge

Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.

Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar

Laura Basell, University of Leicester

 

Women’s work

The role of women in this economy is particularly interesting. In the past, with the men taking all the fish and selling it, the women and their families had to rely on their own food supply. This mostly involved agriculture, rice paddy, where the terrain supported this, or millets in the drier coral lands, together with bananas, citrus fruit and coconuts. Zebu cattle grazed on the harvested rice fields. An important source of protein was shell fish, with large groups of women going out at low spring tides (every two weeks) to collect them.

A typical rural scene behind the fishing towns. The rice is being harvested by women, while cattle graze on the stalks left behind.

A typical rural scene behind the fishing towns. The rice is being harvested by women, while cattle graze on the stalks left behind.

This familiarity with the inter-tidal zone was useful for the women to exploit another cash rich resource – seaweed. Seaweed (Swahili: mwani) farming is a relatively recent phenomenon in East Africa, dating from 1988. Processed for lotions, cosmetics and even toothpaste, it is a major export for Zanzibar and around 80% comes from Pemba island, especially in the north east where the shallow lagoon environment is ideal. The seaweed (Eucheuma denticulatum and Kappaphycus alvaresii) is planted in small plots and is harvested 6 weeks later, where it is then carried ashore and dried. The dried seaweed is then sold for cash per kilo, to an agent. The women benefit and can be financially independent of their husbands. With the success of seaweed farming it seems that shellfish collection has declined – or has become more a social event. There have been reports that the price the women get has declined, and that the seaweed has to be planted at greater depths, as a result of the warming of the ocean. One result has been the use of light weight plastic boats to provide access to deeper water.

Seaweed being laid out to dry on the beach at Tumbe

Seaweed being laid out to dry on the beach at Tumbe. In the foreground can be seen a light plastic boat, supplied by the agents, to help facilitate harvesting in deeper waters.

So where do all the fish go? It seems that the maritime societies of Pemba island both in the past and the present are successful entrepreneurs, who realised that fish are more valuable as cash resource to be sold, in the past to the Arab plantations, and in the present to the beach hotels; meat and shell fish were the preferred everyday protein source. This is a hypothesis at least, that we are now testing at the household level and by future excavations on some of the ‘living’ towns.

Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – The technologies are changing

East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project Team:

Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University

Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University

Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge

Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.

Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar

Laura Basell, University of Leicester

 

The technologies are changing

Fishers need boats, and one of our observations was that traditional dug-out catamarans (known as ngalawa), wooden dhows (mashua) are being replaced by fibreglass boats with outboards engines. Modern fibreglass boats have the advantage of being less dependent on the winds, but of course require expensive fuel to operate and are more difficult to repair.

 

Fibreglass boats are increasingly replacing traditional wooden boats for fishing.

Fibreglass boats are increasingly replacing traditional wooden boats for fishing.

We were told that the fisheries ministry issued new boats to fishers a few years back in an attempt to increase catches, but within a short time, they had been abandoned, as the engines and the boats themselves fell apart. It was a relief to see that traditional boat building continues along much of the north east coast. For example, on the beach at Likoni, opposite to Kojani island, we observed four enormous hulls, from dug-out Mango trees in the course of construction. The people of Kojani are especially well known as traditional boat-builders.

Project Investigator Abdallah Khamis interviewing Kojani boatbuilders as they construct a dug-out from a mango tree truck.

Project Investigator Abdallah Khamis interviewing Kojani boatbuilders as they construct a dug-out from a mango tree truck.

The government fish market at Tumbe, north-east Pemba

Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – Where do the fish go?

East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project team:

Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University

Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University

Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge

Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.

Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar

Laura Basell, University of Leicester

 

Where do the fish go?

Our ethnographic research perhaps helps in solving this riddle. In the south-east monsoon season, there were two main harbours where the fish was landed, Tumbe and Shumba Mjini and where we spent a lot of time recording interviews from the fishers. Both have fish markets; Tumbe is an impressive government building.

The government fish market at Tumbe, north-east Pemba

The government fish market at Tumbe, north-east Pemba.

There is considerable tension between the traditional fishers, who use lines and traps, and the more modern ‘ring-net’ fishers, who are seen as overfishing and reducing the catches for traditional fishers. The fish is generally landed around midday, and is auctioned for cash, to agents and wholesalers. We talked to several women who bought the smaller fish, and then resell at road-side markets. However, the larger fish were bought by the hotels and restaurants – mostly on Unguja island, as there were few on Pemba. We also learnt that many of the fishers could be away for months at a time, fishing on the mainland coast, as far away as Kenya, where they were able to sell the fish directly to the many hotels there. The Kojani fishers are well known as purse-seine net fishers, who travel huge distances, and are reported to illegally enter marine protected areas from Mafia to Malindi.

An informal transaction for a local hotel (left); preparing the latest catch for sale (right).

An informal transaction for a local hotel (left); preparing the latest catch for sale (right). The fish is normally auctioned in bundles that can include several species of fish.

It seems that many of the fish caught do not get to the villages where the fishers come from, but instead generate cash for the fishing families to invest in new houses, mosques or boats. At Kojani for example there is a ‘new Kojani’, where the old houses are being replaced by modern dwelling built of coral and concrete blocks. Many of the old mosques are being torn down to be replaced by large concrete buildings, and unusually the work is being funded locally.

A new mosque being built over the destroyed 18th century mosque at Wingwi

A new mosque being built over the destroyed 18th century mosque at Wingwi. The original building was one of the of the most attractive in East Africa and described as ‘having the proportions of a Greek temple’.

Chinese bowl set into the mosque’s mihrab at Kichokochtwe

Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – Kichokochtwe – a typical site?

East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project team:

Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University

Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University

Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge

Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.

Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar

Laura Basell, University of Leicester

 

Kichokochtwe – a typical site?

Kichokochtwe, located on a tidal islet, covers around 5 ha, with a shoreline on three sides. The occupation located across a series of low hills, visible as pottery scatters and a grey soil. A coral-stone mosque with a mihrab adorned with the Chinese blue-and-white bowl (probably Kang-shi) of the early 18th century is located at the highest point of the islet and a small cemetery of stone tombs is just outside the settlement to the east.

Chinese bowl set into the mosque’s mihrab at Kichokochtwe

Chinese bowl set into the mosque’s mihrab at Kichokochtwe and showing that even these small fishing villages were still connected into the Indian Ocean trading networks.

The economic data from the test pits we excavated was particularly revealing. There were enormous quantities of shells and bones mixed in with the ceramics, and carbonised seeds (which still have to be analysed). The shell assemblage is dominated by Strombus gibberulus, which is found along the intertidal littoral that surrounds the site, and which is still collected nowadays. 14 other species were also found, including the African land snail, Achitina fulica. The quantities of shellfish suggest that this was a pretty common staple in the diet, and not just an occasional famine food.

Graph Showing Counts of shell fish recorded at Kichokochtwe from two test pits

Counts of shell fish recorded at Kichokochtwe from two test pits. 14 of the 21 species of shell recorded from our excavations in East Pemba occur here, but the assemblage is dominated by Strombus gibberulus (right) a small conch shell, collected from the intertidal flats.

The bones were also of interest in reconstructing the economy. This was dominated by cattle bones, with a few sheep goat, and very rare chicken. But the big surprise was the almost complete absence of fish bones – despite every attempt to ensure that we were recovering material from fine mesh sieves, and wet-sieving large samples of deposit. The villagers of Kichokochtwe were not eating much fish, and this was a pattern found at all the other sites as well.

Large quantities of cow bones

Large quantities of cow bones were found with the shell fish, but very few fish bones.

Drone image of the ruined 18th century mosque at Mandani (July 2019).

Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – The Thirteen Maritime Towns of East Pemba

East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project Team:

Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University

Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University

Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge

Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.

Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar

Laura Basell, University of Leicester

 

The Thirteen Maritime Towns of East Pemba

Thirteen fishing settlements, or towns (Swahili mjini) are located in north-east Pemba. The two monsoons (south-east from July to November; north-west from December to March) provide for two distinct fishing grounds of lagoons and inlets protected by the fringing reef and coral islands. This seasonal pattern explains why several towns are located a little inland – but equidistant from both shorelines. Some indication of the time depth of these settlements can be gauged from their mosques, with inset Chinese bowls in the mihrabs – although tragically several have been torn down recently to be replaced by larger concrete edifices. However, there is strong likelihood that they all date to the 18th century if not earlier.

The rare surviving mihrab from the mosque at Shumba, dating to the 18th century

The rare surviving mihrab from the mosque at Shumba, dating to the 18th century, with Chinese bowls inset into the architrave. The other four historic mosques in the area have been torn down and replaced by modern concrete buildings. 

Seven of these towns (Tumbe, Micheweni, Shumba, Wingwi, Maziwa Ngombe, Kiyiu and Kojani) still survive as thriving settlements following the traditional economy that seems little changed since the 18th century. Our project has been able to interview the fishers (normally all men), as well as the women, the agents, middlemen and women, as well as government officials who attempt to regulate their activities. But an extra dimension is that a further six former towns, abandoned in the 19th century, provide an archaeological opportunity to record what these settlements were like in earlier centuries.

Project investigators Omar Haji and Eréndira Quintana Morales interviewing boat builders and fishers at Tumbe

Project investigators Omar Haji and Eréndira Quintana Morales interviewing boat builders and fishers at Tumbe

Today fishing is mostly undertaken from three harbours, Tumbe, Shumba Mjini and Kojani, where there is good access to the sea. Government constructed fish markets have also tended to concentrate activities in these areas enabling the catch to be readily sold. But informal fishing was also undertaken, often in dug-out canoes, where there is a beach or harbour, to supply food at a household level.

Dugout canoes in an informal harbour, on the beach near Tumbe

Dugout canoes in an informal harbour, on the beach near Tumbe. The boat in the fore- ground is being scorched to kill marine boring insects.

The abandoned towns present their own challenges. They were first listed in the 1930’s by a district education officer who, on his days off, went searching for ruins. We relocated the sites in the 1980’s now much more ruined and covered in thick bush. With expanding populations, this has now been cleared away and the sites are now extensively farmed, allowing us to map them in detail, to collect surface pottery, and dig test pits. The Department of Antiquities has made a major effort to conserve the ruined mosques and tombs and several have part time guards to protect the sites.

Drone image of the ruined 18th century mosque at Mandani (July 2019).

Drone image of the ruined 18th century mosque at Mandani (July 2019).

In July, we mapped six sites, Kichokotchwe, Mandani, Kiungoni, Chambani Mjini, Tumbe / Chwaka and Shengejuu, excavated test pits and made surface collections. All the sites lie close to the seashore, with accessible harbours, and cover around 4-5 ha. Each had a mosque and stone tombs. Chronological range could be judged from the ceramics – that included post-Ming dynasty Chinese export blue and white pottery, and at the final phase European Maastrict painted wares of c. 1850. Why they were abandoned at this time is unclear but may be linked with the economic dislocations linked to plantation slavery and the decline of the Mazruis.

The Kichokochtwe site

The Kichokochtwe site, showing its location with fringing inter-tidal flats, facing out onto the sound between the main island and Kojani island.  

 

Tomorrow we will be looking further into the Kichokochtwe site.

Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – Part 1

East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project Team:

Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University

Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University

Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge

Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.

Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar

Laura Basell, University of Leicester

 

In a year-long project from the Rising from the Depths Network, a collaboration between Zanzibar Heritage Foundation, State University of Zanzibar, the Royal Agricultural University and the University of Leicester investigates the maritime heritage of Pemba island.  

Bringing the catch in; Tumbe fishing village Pemba island, Tanzania (July 2019).

Surviving in north-east Pemba is a maritime way of life that apparently has changed little in the last 300 years. Using traditional fishing methods and boats enable the fragile reef and marine environments to be exploited in a sustainable way. The daily rhythm brings in the catch for sale at midday for sale on the beach, while the women go out in search of shell fish that can be collected in the inter-tidal zone. Behind the villages the rice fields provide the carbohydrates, the cattle graze on the harvested grasses, while shade is provided by the coconuts, mango, banana and citrus trees. But it is not all as it seems, and the East Pemba Maritime Heritage project has been investigating how modern fishing methods are now threatening not just the maritime heritage but also the sustainability of marine environment.

Pemba – the green island of the western Indian Ocean

Pemba island is the sister island to Zanzibar and was known to the medieval Arabs as the Green Island or Jazirat al-Khadra on account of its verdant fertility. Pemba became famous for its spices, especially cloves, grown on slave-operated plantations from the 19th century. These plantations introduced a new population to the island (Arab landowners and their slaves from the interior of Africa) and cleared much of the centre and south of Pemba of its coastal forest. The original inhabitants, Swahili people who were the descendants of the medieval port cities, were confined to the coast, and in the 16th century moved to northern and eastern regions, where they could grow rice in stream-fed valleys and fish in the sheltered lagoons and estuaries.  Here they abandoned their former activity as Indian ocean merchants, and instead created a food-producing maritime economy that produced such surpluses that it was able to feed much of the mainland coast and plantations that were being established during the 18th and 19th centuries – these activities accrued much wealth for the new towns’ inhabitants.  This economy linked the production of grains, such as rice and millet, extensive dairy herds of cattle, the exploitation of fish and of shellfish. One of the towns is still known as Maziwa Ngombe – ‘the milk of the cow’, because we were told there was so much milk, that is was literally poured away into the earth!

Location of research area and towns on north east Pemba island.

Since the 19th century, north-east Pemba has been neglected. It was the capital of the Mazrui who built a fort and tombs at Tumbe, but they were defeated by the Busaidi rulers of Zanzibar in 1822. With the new plantations in the south, the inhabitants of the north east, especially in the Micheweni peninsula, were allowed to continue their way of life, with little colonial or indeed British interference.  The East Pemba Maritime Heritage project, as part of the Rising from the Depths Network, is looking at this neglected part of the Zanzibar archipelago, where there is little supervision or control of the maritime activities by government officials, and where the Swahili towns still rely on the sea for their survival. We are working as a collaborative team of Zanzibari and international scholars. Our approach is both contemporary and historical – to record through observation and interviews what is the current situation, the challenges of the future, and to delve into the past, though interviews, archival study and archaeological surveys.

 

Discussing (Marine) Cultural Heritage at a Development Studies Conference

Rosalie Hans, Making Maritime Museums Matter in Mozambique

The annual Development Studies Association (DSA) conference took place in Milton Keynes this year from 19 to 21 June and as a novice to a conference in this discipline I was excited to find out how it would differ from the heritage and museum studies gatherings I’m used to (spoiler alert, it wasn’t so different). However, the fact that, as a heritage professional, it was the first time going to a conference in development studies surely indicates the need for merging these fields more often to discuss the multiple challenges of maritime heritage and development that Rising from the Depths also addresses.

The panel that brought me to Milton Keynes was called ‘History and Development: Practicing the Past in Pursuit of ‘Progress’’ and fell squarely into the cultural heritage and sustainable development theme that has become increasingly topical over the past few years. Conveners Charlotte Cross and John Giblin represented both sides of the discussion respectively as a Lecturer in International Development at the Open University and as Keeper of World Cultures at the National Museums of Scotland and introduced the topic from their areas of expertise. Dr John Giblin started with the uses of post-conflict heritage in northern Uganda and the meanings of memory while Dr Charlotte Cross talked about the invocation of tradition by local vigilante groups in Tanzania. Then Dr Ioanna Katapidi, of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, presented on an international research project that looked at how and what UNESCO world heritage sites can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Using case studies from Jordan and China, she highlighted some of the challenges of translating the potential of world heritage sites into practical action contributing towards the SDG’s. Following this, Dr Mark Lamont, who is currently a co-investigator on a RftD-funded project in Mida Creek, Kenya, raised some useful questions on the expected value derived from cultural heritage projects in a development environment, particularly related to GCRF funding in the UK. His point on whether the visibility afforded through digital humanities technologies, such as those promoted by RftD, really put the control over scholarship and knowledge in the hands of UK academia is especially relevant for Rising from the Depths.

In the afternoon, I presented on ‘the promise of the museum’, using RftD research in Mozambique as one of my case studies. The Museu das Pescas, or Fisheries Museum, in Maputo provides an excellent example of a museum that was constructed as part of a larger development project to add a cultural component to an otherwise economically focused programme. My argument that there is a danger of reducing museums (and cultural heritage in general) to an ill-defined resource that does not live up to its expectations resonated well with the overall theme of the panel. I proposed that to live up to their promise, the expectations of museum benefits should be changed to aims that they can deliver, such as social and cultural visibility, political recognition and promotion of local cultural appreciation. After this, we stayed in east Africa with Dr Lotte Hughes presenting her research on alternative rites of passage (ARP) that aim to replace FGM practices in Kenya. These ceremonies include a range of activities drawn from different sources of inspiration such as Christian religion and international development discourse leading to hybridised cultural performances. A presentation recorded in Zimbabwe by Kemist Shumba informed us on a research plan for looking at the use of traditional games and song in promoting health and well-being. His presence via Skype was greatly appreciated but also a stark reminder of the difficulty of African academics and professionals to receive visas for the UK which affected three other papers scheduled for this panel. It was a shame that these presenters could not share their research with those able to attend. Rounding off the panel for the day was Camila dos Santos who presented on Brazil’s development engagement with Angola and the ‘renegotiation of its position to modernity’ by engaging with Brazil’s and Angola’s shared (but not the same) colonial pasts. The article she wrote with Maira S. Gomes on this multifaceted topic came out in 2019 and can be found here: https://pucrj.academia.edu/CSantos. Last but not least, Dr Astrid Jamar shared some pictures which give an impression of the panel on Twitter which can be found here: https://twitter.com/astrid_jamar/status/1141717027331223554

During the panel I felt ‘like a fish in water’ (excuse the Dutchism) among colleagues concerned with the same challenges surrounding heritage and development, but the keynotes and other panels of the conference were extremely interesting and inspiring as well. It was a privilege to attend the keynote by Professor Mahmood Mamdani who gave a broad overview of the history of the structures of power that underpin the nation-state, colonial ideology and the prosecution of minorities. A second, and equally inspiring, keynote was delivered by Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey, entitled ‘De-Centering the ‘White Gaze’ of Development’ which was an important call to address race as the elephant in the room in development studies. She combined critical race theory and critical development studies in order to ‘mainstream race, like gender and class, as the way forward’ because as she argued powerfully ‘to oppose racism one must notice race’. I would urge any heritage specialists working in development contexts to explore development theories, to attend conferences such as these and to inform themselves on key themes current in development studies. Looking at development through a (marine) cultural heritage lens can offer new perspectives on thinking about how past-making (heritage) influences future-making (development) (see Basu & Modest’s introduction to their edited volume ‘Museums, Heritage and Development, 2015). Nevertheless, development studies also has a lot to offer to heritage studies when it comes to critically appraising development contexts and thinking through the social, economic, cultural and environmental implications of development interventions. This conference was an enriching experience and just like Rising from the Depths, the panel was a step towards bringing different disciplines together to think about the uses and relevance of the past for creating sustainable futures. The edited volume that is planned as an outcome of this panel will hopefully contribute to furthering the dialogue on cultural heritage and sustainable development as well.

The controversy of the Lamu Coal Power Station, Kenya

Wycliffe Omondi 

The scramble for Africa’s abundant, unexploited minerals and natural resources has of late invited a new scramble by powers from within and without the continent. These new trends, especially along the coast of East Africa, are closely linked with oil and gas prospecting industries, major seaports’ and road network constructions which are stipulated to bring development to East Africa and Kenya in particular. However, more often such development projects may also be potential threats to the rich marine cultural heritage if not well planned.

Ever since I started working in the heritage sector I have always been fascinated by the antagonistic relationships between cultural heritage conservation and development. Coincidentally, I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham where my research focuses on the critical examination and analysis of cultural heritage conservation as a driver for local community sustainable development with specific reference sites along the Kenya coast.

One area that has of late attracted major infrastructural development in Kenya is Lamu archipelago located on the northern coast of Kenya. The area has been earmarked as the convergence point for a US$29.2 billion Lapsset (Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport) Corridor program by the Government of Kenya (GoK). The archipelago is a system of six inhabited islands that are closely interconnected not only with the Islands but also with the surrounding environment including the mainland, in terms of fishing grounds, culture, family ties, mangrove forests and farmlands.

The Lapsset program has several components including the development of a seaport with 32 deep sea berths at Manda Bay (three berths are currently under construction), a standard gauge railway line to Juba and Addis Ababa, a road network, oil pipelines to and from South Sudan and Ethiopia, an oil refinery, three international airports and three resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana shores corridor. This program is part of the Government of Kenya’s national development strategy Vision 2030 economic pillar which aims at transforming Kenya into an industrialized middle income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a “clean and secure environment.”

Controversially, a coal power plant, Lamu Coal Power Station (LCPS), is to be developed in order to operate as part of Lapsset. Alongside the development of Lamu Port, resorts and the oil pipelines this power station is envisaged as one of the key catalysts in the development of Lamu. It must be built to provide electricity to make the development and subsequent habitation possible.

Coal Development site in Lamu Kenya

The proposed LCPS is located on the mainland near Lamu Island’s Old Town – a Unesco World Heritage site. The Old Town is considered one of the oldest and best preserved living Swahili towns whose golden age is believed to have been the period between 17th century and 19th century under Omani control. Inscription of Lamu Old Town into Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2001 was due to its architecture and urban structures that reveal the interaction of cultural influences of Africa, Asia and Europe over centuries to produce a distinctive Swahili culture. In addition it is considered a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures. A traditional function it has retained for centuries up to date.

Coast of Lamu Kenya

Due to the fragile nature of Lamu’s environment and culture, concerns were raised by local community members and NGOs’ such as Save LamuNatural Justice and Katiba Institute on the potential irreversible changes on the delicate natural environment and rapid disruption of the towns cultural traditions which forms an integral part of Lamu identity.

Despite local opposition to the coal power plant, the Government of Kenya awarded Amu Power Company (APC) the development rights in September 2014 (deal valued at approximately US$2 billion). APC is a consortium of Centum Investments Company Limited (a Kenyan private equity firm), Gulf Energy (a Kenyan energy generating company) and Sichuan Electric Power Design and Consulting Company Limited (SEDC) which is a subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China (Power China). Subsequently in mid- 2017, a 25 year Power purchase agreement between Lamu Coal Power Station with the investor Amu power, was singed in China witnessed by the President of Kenya, with guarantee from African Development Bank, even though the project is a private investment. “The President’s presence at the signing was likely arranged by the promoters of the project to shore up support for it,” according to David Ndii (2017), a Kenyan Daily Nation Newspaper columnist. However, the construction has repeatedly been halted due to opposition by environmentalists and human rights groups, for the plant will lead to air pollution, destruction of mangroves and breeding grounds for endangered species of marine turtles, fish and other marine life. The latest suspension of the project is a decision made in 2018 by a Kenyan court, sending the dispute back to National Environment Tribunal.

Obviously Kenya does not need to buy wind or solar along the coast of Kenya.  According to World Economic Forum Report 2018, wind has no clean-up costs either. It stands to reason then, that the wind plant beats coal hands down on cost and efficiency. For the case of LCPS, coal will have to be purchased and ferried all the way from South Africa to Lamu, hence incurring additional cost.

Last week, more intrigue emerged about the coal plant, after Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), a US based philanthropic research and analyses organization that focuses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment, revealed in its report entitled, The Proposed Lamu Coal Plant: The Wrong Choice for Kenya,’ argues that even if the plant never generates any power Kenya will still have to pay heavily for generated electricity.  “That the Coal project true costs during the years 2024 through 2037 could average as high as US$22 to US$75  per KWh.” That is three to 10 times the company’s initial 2014 projection. IEEFA, also admits that the planned 981MW Lamu coal plant is outright a poor investment—“except for the few companies backing the proposal and the Chinese firm contracted to build it.”  Therefore “Kenya should cancel the project.”

Kenya has also pledged in several international platforms to move the country to 100% renewable energy – the coal plant is surely the antithesis of this aim.

On the 24th June the National Environment Tribunal (NET)  in Nairobi revoked a permit issued for the contentious project. They cancelled an environmental impact assessment licence for the Lamu coal project, ruling that “the circumstances under which it was issued were flawed.”

However, will this judgement stand?

Will there be an appeal?

This happened in a previous court case between Lapsset and Lamu community members in April 2018  where despite the fact that the High Court of Kenya declared that the construction of the Lamu Port failed basic constitutional and legal requirements (including violations of legal procedure on public participation, the right to information, the right to a clean and healthy environment and right to culture) and the government should pay US $17Million in compensation to 4,600 fishermen in Lamu County,  the Kenya Ports Authority nonetheless filed a Notice of Appeal on the grounds that, “the judges of the lower court gave orders which had not been pleaded” and successfully obtained orders from the Court of Appeal suspending the implementation of the judgment. Consequently, despite the judgment, the Lamu Port construction continues unaffected by the decision, dashing petitioners’ expectations of seeing the project proponents take tangible steps to implement the court’s judgment. Equally the fishermen are still waiting for their compensation.

What is the way forward for Lamu community members, if the judgement is upheld or otherwise? Are the project planners sensitive to heritage? Do they understand that heritage is intertwined with a people’s identity, worldview and their livelihoods?

Participant in a focus group discussion at Pate Island indicating areas of harvesting

Field survey to understand changes in mangrove use and the implication to local community in Lamu Kenya

Amina Hamza (PhD student, Bournemouth University)

The coastal community in Kenya have strong dependence on mangrove ecosystem for their livelihood. Mangrove exploitation for building poles forms a subsistence livelihood for the locals with Lamu county exhibiting the highest dependence. Records indicate along with slave and ivory, mangrove poles made up a major regional trade by the 9th century. However, mangroves are threatened by both natural and human induces threats. In addition, Kenya has witnessed rapid development in ports and infrastructure which have had impacts on the ecosystem and the communities. The extent of these impacts on mangrove use in Kenya has not been well documented. Furthermore, the changes have had tremendous impacts on the community livelihood some of which are irreversible.

Bed made from mangrove wood, photo taken at one of the households interviewed

Bed made from mangrove wood, photo taken at one of the households interviewed

In order to understand how the use of mangrove resources has changed over time, the drivers of change and document community knowledge on climate change, I was awarded a grant by Bournemouth University’s Global Challenges Research Funds (BU’s GCRF) to conduct a field survey in Lamu, Kenya. The survey involved focus groups discussions with different mangrove users; and household interviews using semi structured questionnaires conducted in Lamu, Manda, Pate and Ndau Islands in June and July 2019. The four weeks field activity started with a meeting with the county ecosystem conservator and foresters at the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to collect information on the amount of mangrove wood harvested in Lamu and its monetary value and identify mangrove user groups in the area. KFS is the government department that is in charge with the management of mangrove forests in Kenya.

Participant in a focus group discussion at Pate Island indicating areas of harvesting

Participant in a focus group discussion at Pate Island indicating areas of harvesting

Preliminary findings are expected to be ready in November 2019. The findings will provide information on how environmental changes have influenced livelihood dependent on mangrove and provide possible adaptation options to increase local community resilience to environmental/climate change that will be disseminated to different stakeholders. In general, the research will advance current knowledge on changes of mangrove use and natural and human induced impacts on mangrove resources that will inform policy and assist coastal communities and governments agencies in current and future mangrove management planning. The activity is contributing to the broad aim of the interdisciplinary project Rising from the Depths (RftD) funded by GCRF involving several universities in UK including Bournemouth University.

Lobster trap on a beach in Madagascar

‘Scoping’ Maritime Cultural Heritage: A visit to SEED Madagascar and Sainte Luce to prepare for June’s Festival of the Sea

Jonathan Skinner

(Featured image – Sainte Luce fishermen in handmade pigoues (canoes) rowing out to check their lobster pots – J. Skinner, April 2019)

There were no bins where I was staying. This was one of the things I noticed first and stayed with me during my first visit to Sainte Luce reserve, Madagascar. Jerry’s Huts sits right by the sea with very limited running water and electricity. It has a continual breeze in from the sea that keeps the air fresh and the mosquitos away. The Indian Ocean crashes in day and night. I was opening my food packs from the UK but there was nowhere to put the plastic wrappers. In fact there were scant plastics around at all. I was in what SEED Madagascar staff colloquially call ‘the bush’.

Yet, Sainte Luce is more coastal than bush environment. It is in the Anosy part of southeast Madagascar, 50km northeast of regional centre Taolagnaro (Fort Dauphin), a coastal region where French settlers first landed, and one of the last few places of intact coastal forest. The Sainte Luce Reserve is a hamlet of three villages (Ambandrika, Ampanastromboky, and Manafiafy – the last is by the sea and is also the name of a nearby exclusive luxury beach and rainforest lodge for ‘primitive’ tourists, that is tourists of the primitive, I suppose). The approximately 2400 inhabitants of Sainte Luce depend on natural maritime resources, local forestry, subsistence agriculture and mahampy reed weaving products (mats, hats, baskets) for their livelihood. It is also the epicentre of the lobster export industry in Madagascar: according to NGO Azafady (2014: 4), 50% of Madagascar’s annual national spiny lobster catch comes from along a 150km stretch of coastline focused around the Sainte Luce hamlet (approximately 18 tons/yr). 80% of Sainte Luce’s population depend upon this fishing (Sabatini et al. 2007) making it the core means of income generation for the community.

In Madagascar, there are many taboos (‘fady’ such as not pointing, avoiding certain animals, or talking about food). Likewise, ‘fomba’ is the term given to local cultural traditions that show respect to other, including the ancestors. One central decision-making tradition is the practice of ‘kabary’, group discussion-making. SEED Madagascar – a UK registered NGO with offices in Taolagnaro – had recently facilitated in Sainte Luce the re-establishment of a local Riaky (sea) committee to represent the community in the management of coastal maritime resources, assist with the implementation of local ‘dina’ (rules), and to help them to develop a new voluntary no-take zone (VNTZ) with closed and open seasons (currently open April to May and August to September inclusive). They did this through close, intense kabary discussion with the community, effectively co-producing a successful ‘community-managed small-scale lobster fishery’ (Long 2017a).

University of Roehampton and SEED Madagascar Reharbouring Heritage grant partners - Hannah Shepherd, April 2019

University of Roehampton and SEED Madagascar Reharbouring Heritage grant partners – Hannah Shepherd, April 2019

I was the only person staying there at Jerry’s in Sainte Luce, visiting the SEED Madagascar’s base camp nearby where they conduct their public health, social development, and conservation projects that range from supplying village wells for safe, clean water to drink to reduce levels of severe and life-threatening diarrhoea; to recording the daily lobster catch, sales and effort endured by the fishermen to ultimately facilitate community-based, sustainable lobster fisheries management; to night patrolling ‘bush’ transects counting lemur eyes shining back at them in the dark to assess annual animal levels and to facilitate their safe movement; and promoting and supporting a local women’s embroidery group, Project Stitch, with social enterprise, business advice and marketing platforms.

Project Stitch, Sainte Luce – J. Skinner, April 2019

Project Stitch, Sainte Luce – J. Skinner, April 2019

I was to spend three nights in the bush, spending the days learning about the Voluntary No Take Zone (VNTZ) where local fishermen have agreed to operate a community lobster fishing regulation system of open and closed seasons – in addition to national regulations to leave female lobsters with eggs and lobsters less than 20cm in size, and to not use nets, spears, harpoons or snorkels while fishing. I was to liaise with the Chef Fokontany (Head of the Village) of local villages in preparation for a return visit in June when I was to bring a textile artist and a filmmaker from the UK, and co-organise with SEED a range of local and regional bands and dancers to hold a Festival of the Sea to celebrate local marine cultural heritage: the traditional practices that best-suited conservation and sustainability, maritime cultural heritage as resilience in the people, and to swap skills and co-produce knowledge, artefacts and choreography. This was also an opportunity to test a community-engagement-through-festival approach developed in the Caribbean (Skinner and Bryan 2015), and the conservation-through-carnival suggestion that we had developed on Anguilla when examining a contentious sea turtle moratorium established until 2020 (EU BEST 2016).

EU BEST sea turtle conservation grant

EU BEST sea turtle conservation grant

There, on this current British colony, the University of Roehampton partnered with the Government of Anguilla’s Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and the Anguilla National Trust. From 2016 to 2019 we have been working to mitigate the overexploitation of the sea turtle – ‘combining community action with scientific evidence to drive legislative change’ (EU BEST 2016). The project brings stakeholders together to engage in open dialogue about the island’s limited natural resources and their best management. We combined scientific evidence of sea turtle foraging and breeding with information about the cultural heritage of local people to engage and increase national awareness and support for the sea reptile. One initiative was to join in the annual ‘Festival Del Mar’ (Festival of the Sea) with sea turtle floats to raise public awareness as to their plight (EU BEST 2016). To translate concepts: Anguilla used Malagasy techniques of kabary group discussion to transform and develop support structures for the animal, its husbandry, and its fishermen; the Sainte Luce Festival of the Sea was to use Caribbean carnival to celebrate best lobster conservation and fishing management practice in the community in one of the first VNTZ’s of its kind in the Indian Ocean. We wanted to test the plasticity of the Caribbean model as an appropriate mode of maritime cultural heritage expression in Madagascar.

Musician awaits auditions at the entrance to Sainte Luce Reserve – J. Skinner, April 2019Musician awaits auditions at the entrance to Sainte Luce Reserve – J. Skinner, April 2019

In the mornings – very early in the mornings – the lobster fishermen return with their catch caught in vahipiky vine pots skilfully woven by the family or bought from mountain villages nearby. The lobsters are measured and weighed by SEED before being sold on to collecteurs (middle people) who send on the lobsters to Taolagnaro for international distribution. Many of the fishermen use boats owned by the opérateurs and so have to sell the lobsters at uncompetitive prices to collecteurs working with the opérateurs. Stephen Long (2017b) notes that the development of a No Take Zone concentrated the efforts of the fishermen when they could fish, and brought them ‘bumper catches’ from the replenished supply, but that an unexpected consequence of the surplus was to break the buyers’ monopoly, giving a 33% rise in price for the lobster that added significant value to the lives of the fishermen and their families.

Measuring, weighing and selling the day’s lobster catch - J. Skinner, April 2019

Measuring, weighing and selling the day’s lobster catch – J. Skinner, April 2019

There are exceptional musicians and dancers in the local community, and part of the visit was to audition them for the Festival of the Sea as well as troupes in Taolagnaro so that was to be a local as well as regional event.

Village life stopped when the drums and strings played and Group Dodomy entertained. Both the local music and dancing can be described as traditional with a Southern African influence of polyrhythms and contrabody movements: stillness in the torso, fast leg movements up and down or side to side, hands flicking stylishly upwards and downwards characterise some of this dancing.

Group Dodomy Festival of the Sea auditions (https://youtu.be/8DHkzPu9Sis) – J. Skinner, April 2019

Group Dodomy Festival of the Sea auditions (https://youtu.be/8DHkzPu9Sis) – J. Skinner, April 2019

The dance auditions showed the local skills in body isolations, and contra-body juxtapositions – opposing patterns, or contrasts between movement and non-movement. Forward-side-back sets of kicks; or side-to-sides with loose arms and hands towards the waist remind me of some salsa, rumba, cumbia complexes that have their origins in Africa and travelled at different times most notably to the Caribbean islands and eventually to the Americas. At the end of the Sainte Luce audition, we took turns dancing, swapping moves. Unfortunately – or fortunately (see the following June blog) – only I had a camera so there were no recordings!?

Tsimihantaravye Tandroy dance audition (https://youtu.be/6RBmhlbIzVA) – J. Skinner, April 2019

Tsimihantaravye Tandroy dance audition (https://youtu.be/6RBmhlbIzVA) – J. Skinner, April 2019

Back in Taolagnaro, we held meetings to consider the possibilities of the Festival: what would work; what the community wanted and needed; how the logistics of food, water, electricity might be resolved; what was best ethical practice between the University of Roehampton and SEED Madagascar. We held further open auditions to urban hiphop singers, a reggae band, and traditional Tandroy and Tanosy music and dance groups. Here is a Tandroy clip: the ‘people from the thorns’, as the name translates for this ethnic group, are known for their short and pointy straw hats (satsok bory), and the dance has the similar fast-feet still-torso but there is also a characteristic hand-shaking. It reminded me of the Maori Haka in places and has similar rhythmic shouting – you can hear ‘Eka!’ in the YouTube clip which is ‘Yes!’ in Malagasy. Mirohondroho are a semi-professional troupe that perform regularly for locals, tourists, festivals. Here they are giving an audition that is loved by SEED staff, bar staff and a visiting anthropologist, all of whom are a dancing audience.

The next blog will showcase the Festival of the Sea that we held in Sainte Luce, 7-8 June 2019.

Stunning land and waterscapes and the obligatory lemur shot – J. Skinner and R. Rossizelà, April 2019Stunning land and waterscapes and the obligatory lemur shot – J. Skinner and R. Rossizelà, April 2019

Stunning land and waterscapes and the obligatory lemur shot – J. Skinner and R. Rossizelà, April 2019

 

References

Azafady (2014) A final report on Project Oratsimba – Prepared for SmartFish/FAO: Activities from June 2013 – March 2014. Tolagnaro. https://madagascar.co.uk/application/files/8515/4027/7111/11.03.2014_Phase_1_Final_Report.pdf.

EU BEST (2016) Saving the Sea Turtles of Anguilla: Combining community action with scientific evidence to drive legislative change. Project grant details website, ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/best/pdf/fs_saving_sea_turtles_en.pdf.

Long, S. (2017a) ‘Short-term impacts and value of a periodic no take zone (NTZ) in a community-managed small-scale lobster fishery, Madagascar’. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177858. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177858.

Long, S. (2017b) ‘The world is your lobster: sustainable fishing in Madagascar?’ UCL research blog post, https://london-nerc-dtp.org/2017/06/07/world-lobster-sustainable-fishing-madagascar accessed 16 July 2019.

Sabatini, G., Salley, S. Ramanamanjato, J.-B. (2007) ‘A review of the spiny lobster fishery in the Tolagnaro (Fort-Dauphin) Region’. In J. U. Ganzhorn, S. M. Goodman and M. Vincelette (eds.) Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of Littoral Ecosystems in Southeastern Madagascar, Tolagnaro (Fort Dauphin). Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., pp. 299–308.

Skinner, J. and D. Bryan (2015) ‘Introduction’. In J. Skinner and D. Bryan (eds.) Consuming St. Patrick’s Day. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.1-8.

CoastSnap User meeting and workshop in Toulouse (France)

Caridad Ballesteros

On 18th June 2019 the first CoastSnap User meeting took place in Toulouse (France) under the umbrella of Boot Camp Coastal Imaging 2019, organised by Dr Mitch Harley from the University of New South Wales, Australia. This was the first time the CoastSnap site owners have gathered together to discuss best practice, to share ideas and to learn key project tools. Starting in Australia, CoastSnap has been spreading around the world since 2017 with current sites in the UK, France, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and others. CoastSnap is a citizen science project in which participants take pictures of a beach from a particular viewpoint using a fixed metal stand. The stand holds the smartphones and ensures pictures are always taken from the same position. These pictures are later shared with the project team using social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) or email, and users are instructed to indicate the date and time the picture was taken. This simple idea allows the project team to build, over time, a database of images to understand shoreline behaviour, to analyse erosion, recovery cycles and storm impacts.

During the meeting, all users presented the first results and analysis for their site, as well as any difficulties experienced. I was there to present CoastSnap Mozambique, one of the 19 Rising from the Depths networkfunded projects. CoastSnap Mozambique will be the first site in Africa, which really excited the CoastSnap team, as this could bring new ways to obtain records in countries with a severe shortage of coastal data. Although it was not possible to present any outputs yet, as the CoastSnap stations will be installed in Mozambique later this month, I was really happy to present the relevance of a citizen science project in Mozambique, not only to record data in shoreline dynamics, but also to understand local perceptions of natural and cultural heritage.

CoastSnap team at Meeting

I noticed that there was something missing in all of the presentations, and that was the level of involvement of the local community. From the viewpoint of CoastSnap Mozambique, this is one of the strongest aspects. It is for this reason that in parallel to the beach surveys and the installation of the CoastSnap station (the metal frame and information boards) we will be running workshops to present the project and to understand coastal communities’ views on the project. We will consult with them, and other potential uses, over the pictures collected during the project to tackle potential concerns and conflicts which could later be built into coastal management plans. We will design activities, alongside educators, which will be carried out in schools to integrate the project outputs within sociology, the arts and science, and this will cover aspects of coastal identity and cultural and ecosystem values.

During my time in Toulouse, I learned the most technical aspects of the project, involving the analysis of coastal imaging and shoreline change using MATLAB. The tool will enable the team to analyse the series of images shared by our users, allowing us to view the evolution of the coastline over time. I will be sharing this newly acquired knowledge with my co-Investigators based in Mozambique, and these skills will then be passed on to project students within their universities, so the project can become self-sustaining after the formal project end date.

Next week, Dr Luciana Esteves (BU) and I will be in Mozambique to join the rest of the team, Dr Jaime Palalane from Eduardo Mondlane University and Dr Pedrito Cambrao from Lurio University to set up the four CoastSnap Stations and to run community workshops at each location (see table below) to encourage participation and ownership of the project and to obtain the views and knowledge of the local population.

Location Date Activity
Ilha de Moçambique Tue 30th July Beach survey and CoastSnap Installation
Wed 31st July Workshop
Ponta do Ouro (Maputo) Thu 1st Aug Beach survey and CoastSnap Installation
Fri 2nd Aug Workshop  (location: Kaya-Kweru Resort)
Tofo beach (Inhambane) Mon 5th Aug Beach survey and CoastSnap Installation
Tue 6th Aug Workshop (location: Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo de Inhambane)

Cyclone Idai – hunger and devastation in Mozambique

A very powerful article on the human stories behind the utter devastation caused by https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/eye-of-the-storm/

Thanks to ⁦⁩ for taking the time to listen to them. It’s not too late to donate to ⁦

Marine heritage and sustainable development – Jon Henderson

I’m just back from the Society for American Archaeology’s (SAA) 84th Annual Meeting in Albuquerque where I took part in the HumAnE Archaeology Session organised by Carly Ameen and Naomi Sykes from the University of Exeter. Through a series of papers the session looked at using combined human-animal-environmental (HumAnE) data and how that can be analysed using a variety of arts and science-based techniques to unpick and model long-term bio-cultural dynamics.

Archaeology has always been interdisciplinary but I think we are at an exciting point with sessions like this stressing how long-term archaeological data, bio-cultural data and deep time data can inform solutions to the current global problems facing humanity. Archaeologists are uniquely placed to contribute a deep-time perspective on contemporary humanitarian issues, like those identified in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which are not exclusively modern phenomenon. Deep-time archaeological data can be collated, analysed and presented to help inform solutions to modern global challenges such as the effects of intensive food production, urbanisation, globalisation, climate change, disease transmission and inter-cultural conflict.

Using data from Rising from the Depths, my paper examined the legacy of the oceans and how data from past marine exploitation can help inform the sustainable development agenda. SDG14 Life Below Water recognises the economic and social benefits that sustainable use of marine resources can provide, including enhanced food security, sustainable energy generation, and poverty eradication through marine orientated livelihood opportunities. Providing deep-time data over millennia, the marine archaeological resource has more to offer than solutions based on tourism. For example, coastal management strategies and conservation projects rely on short-term baseline data that, at best, cover little more than a century. As a result, projects and strategies put into place are limited, and do not fully reflect ecosystem dynamics or the relative resilience of different species to the effects of both human activities and changes driven by long term climatic and other environmental factors.

Next month I’m off to the 1st Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Global Planning Meeting for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in Copenhagen to make the case for considering marine heritage data in formulating sustainable solutions to the problems facing our oceans. While environmental sciences and ecological approaches have had a major role in the development of solutions, the potential role of marine cultural heritage as a usable resource and the long-term cultural importance of the marine environment are still not being properly considered. It is my belief that a marine cultural heritage outlook (prioritising human interaction with the sea in all its diversity) could provide the conceptual framework that unites, stimulates and informs interdisciplinary responses to the challenges set out in SDG 14. Wish me luck!

Mozambique Cyclone Disaster

We are shocked to see the awful news from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, where tropical cyclone Idai has caused widespread destruction and loss of life. While it is well known that low-lying coastal cities and towns are enormously vulnerable to sea-level rise and extreme weather events, current estimates suggest this the deadliest tropical cyclone on record to have hit southern Africa.

The cyclone made landfall at the port of Beira, Mozambique’s fourth-largest city, with officials reporting that almost every building in this city of more than 500,000 people has been damaged. Early estimates for Mozambique suggest that up to a 1,000 people may have died. With the infrastructure of the area destroyed and large areas of coastal land now underwater, the worry is that this disaster could affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.

Mozambique is vulnerable to periodic flooding during the rainy season but the harrowing pictures of inland seas with houses submerged up to roof level and people stranded on them only serve to illustrate how catastrophic this event has been.

To donate to the relief effort follow the links below:

https://crisisrelief.un.org/Mozambique-flash-appeal

https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/how-you-can-help/emergencies/mozambique-cyclone

Remembering Sebastiano Tusa

A minute of silence to remember Sebastiano Tusa on Monday, 11 March at the UNESCO Ministerial meeting on Underwater Cultural Heritage in Malindi, Kenya.

Professor Tusa was on his way to the meeting to deliver the keynote speech when he was tragically killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash at Addis Ababa on Sunday.

The maritime archaeological world is in shock. Professor Tusa was an internationally renowned scholar and a champion of underwater archaeology in Italy and around the world. He was one of the drafters of the original UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and in 2004 was appointed as the first Superintendent of the Sea directing the Sicilian Soprintendenza del Mare marine archaeology team. More recently he was appointed Assesore for Cultural Heritage for the Government of Sicily. He directed archaeological projects in Italy, Malta, Tunisia, Libya, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Japan and Kenya and was the author of 700 archaeological publications.

He had great plans for future underwater research in Kenya.

We owe him so much. His passion and leadership will be greatly missed.

 

Snapshots of research in Maputo, Mozambique – Rosalie Hans

Being back in Mozambique for the first time since 2010 provides an interesting mixture of recognition, nostalgia and learning about the many changes the country has gone through in the last 9 years. I am fortunate to be here for one month for a pilot study on maritime museums and how these institutions can increase their role and relevance for their maritime communities. This collaborative project with Daniel Inoque of the Instituto Superior de Artes e Cultura has led us to research the Museu das Pescas in Maputo and the Museu da Marinha on Mozambique Island (Ilha de Moçambique). The first museum was opened in 2014 and shows the traditional fishing culture of the Mozambican coast in a modern building while the naval museum has been open since 1969 and forms part of a museum complex with the Palacio de São Paulo and the Museum of Sacred Art, located in a monumental building.

 

Apart from the challenge of speaking Portuguese the entire day, which I love but at times requires the patience of my colleagues, there are so many other aspects of the research that are not strictly speaking ‘research activities’ but nonetheless are necessary to make the research happen. While I was aware of this from my own PhD research in Kenya and Uganda, I still underestimated the time we are spending in meetings, making phone calls and negotiating administrative and infrastructural issues. As an early career researcher this is a useful lesson to be reminded of and hopefully the connections made and network built over these few weeks will be the foundations of future research in Mozambique on maritime cultural heritage.

 

The research so far, and the meetings with the fishing community of Costa do Sol in Maputo in particular, has been rewarding and insightful. The Conselho Comunitário de Pesca (CCP) or the Community Council of Fisheries is an active organisation at Costa do Sol, a neighbourhood known as Bairro dos Pescadores, where, unsurprisingly, the majority of people lives from artisanal (or small-scale) fishing. The president and secretary of the CCP helped us to invite different people to talk to about their perspective on fishing culture, their lives and current issues and challenges in their community and we conducted a number of interviews, returning another day for a group meeting. The different people we spoke to were keen to get across the importance of knowledge about different types of fish and preservation of the maritime ecosystem in Maputo Bay. While they showed pride in the boats they built, owned and maintained, the increase in the number of fishermen and the decrease of the average daily catch led our participants to conclude that they wanted a better life for their children outside of the fishing industry. They generally found that many Mozambicans and visitors were unaware of the hardships of fishing life.

 

In the Baixa of Maputo the Museu das Pescas is still developing its vision and direction for the future. The current indoor and outdoor exhibitions focus mainly on the material culture of the artisanal fishing industry but museum staff expressed plans to broaden its remit to include more of Mozambique’s diverse maritime heritage. We discussed how such an expansion could include the ideas of fishing communities, could be used to give visibility to the challenges of the fishing communities along the Mozambican coast and allow them to feel pride and ownership of their knowledge and skills.

 

The research continues this week in Mozambique Island, a UNESCO world heritage site in the north of Mozambique where centuries of global trade, occupation, resistance and renewal have led to a unique architectural mixture, with many different aspects of maritime cultural heritage to be considered. More on that in the next blog! Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome, just email me on Rosalie.Hans@nottingham.ac.uk!

Free online GIS course aimed at archaeologists

The gvSIG Association has provided a free online GIS course, covering a range of topics and using an open source software (gvSIG Desktop). There is no need to register for the course, and the content can be accessed from anywhere in the world. A post will be published each week on the gvSIG blog, containing a video tutorial with exercises and access to the course data. In order to complete the online course, participants must simply complete each tutorial. The course is available in both English and Spanish. For more details, see the gvSIG blog post here: https://blog.gvsig.org/2018/12/19/free-course-gis-for-archaeologists/

PhD Studentship, Law, University of Nottingham

Three-year Faculty of Social Sciences PhD studentship

School of Law, University of Nottingham

In connection with Rising from the Depths

Applications are invited for a Faculty of Social Sciences and International Office funded International PhD studentship granted in connection to a recent GCRF/AHRC-funded research project, Rising from the Depths Network: utilising marine cultural heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits. Applicants for the studentship must be African nationals, preferably but not limited to the countries which are the focus of the project, namely Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar.

The Rising from the Depths projects aims to identify ways in which marine cultural heritage can directly benefit coastal communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar.

The subject matter of the PhD proposal should in line with the scope, aims and objectives of Rising from the Depth project. Topics could include research relating to aid agreements, public private partnership, business sand human rights, investment law, public procurement and human rights or any aspect of the so-called Blue Economy in one or a combination of the countries which are the focus of the project – Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar. Though not necessarily driven by heritage the proposed topic should demonstrate its relevance to Marine Cultural Heritage in the region and express how the research could help create wider benefits for local communities.

The studentships will be based at the University of Nottingham (there is no provision for distance-learning PhDs) with a period, or periods, of research in the proposed study location if required. This studentship is available for three years full-time study (subject to satisfactory progression each year) and will be supervised by Dr Annamaria La Chimia (Law) and another academic selected dependent on the details of the chosen proposal. It will cover international tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance grant (stipend) matching Research Innovation UK recommendation – for 2017/18 £14,777 per annum, pro rata.

Applicants should have a degree in a relevant discipline (minimum requirement 2i UG level – or international equivalent) and a masters level degree, preferably LLM with a minimum of 65% in both the taught and dissertation elements (or international equivalent) in law or a related discipline. Our English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 overall (with 6.0 for listening and speaking; 6.5 for reading and 7.0 for writing).

Applications should be submitted by 30 November 2018 and we hope to interview short-listed candidates shortly afterwards (skype and video conferencing available). Successful applicants will be expected to start the PhD programme in January 2019.

The University of Nottingham’s Graduate School’s Research Training Programme offers a broad and comprehensive range of research training courses from ‘Using Archives in Your Research’, to ‘Pathways into Publishing’. The Graduate School also runs training targeted specifically at Faculty of Social Sciences students and the Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Centre coordinates training and events that are relevant and useful to research postgraduates in law.

How to apply

Applicants must be African nationals, preferably but not necessarily from m Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar.

Applicants should submit a full application – including a research proposal, two academic references, a writing sample (approximately 5,000 words) and transcripts from your previous degree(s). Additionally a curriculum vitae (no more than two pages) and a brief letter (no more than two pages) outlining qualification for the studentship will be required. Your full application and supporting documents must be received by 30 November 2018. Please note on your research proposal that you wish to be considered for the ‘Rising from the Depths’ studentship.

Informal enquiries may be directed to annamaria.lachimia@nottingham.ac.uk – candidates wishing to make an application are strongly recommended to get in touch with Annamaria before submission.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (interviews can be conducted over Skype of video conference for those unable to attend in person).

Find out more about applying.

Posted on Friday 19th October 2018

Shipwrecks Index Survey – call for help from marine archaeologists

As part of the Rising from the Depths project, research at Bournemouth University is assessing how climate change, natural and human-induced hazards may affect Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa. Within this context, shipwrecks are important resources to protect, as described by the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001 (UNESCO).

 

We are developing an exposure (or sensitivity) index for shipwrecks. We would be grateful if you can share your knowledge to help us better understand which factors are relevant to the conservation of shipwrecks, so we can identify suitable indicators.

 

The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and can be found here. 

PhD Studentship, Ulster University

Funded PhD Opportunity Maritme Cultural Heritage and Sustainability in East Africa

This project is funded by: VCRS

Subject: Geography and Environmental Studies

Summary

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund/Arts and Humanities Research Council project titled, Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help Sustainable Social, Economic, and Cultural Benefits, Ulster University is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship in Maritime Cultural Heritage and Sustainability in coastal eastern Africa.

The studentship is to be held in the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences. The PhD research will explore an aspect of heritage, sustainability, conflict and development in this region, but should contribute to the overall research agenda of the project. It should also draw on the strengths of the School at Ulster.

This is an international studentship for suitably qualified applicants from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. Rising from the Depths seeks to explore the marine cultural heritage of eastern Africa, and to conduct challenge-led research that can stimulate ethical, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the details of the project at our website: https://risingfromthedepths.com

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Masters at 65%
  • Research project completion within taught Masters degree or MRES
  • Practice-based research experience and/or dissemination
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Experience of presentation of research findings

Funding

This project is funded by: VCRS

The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £14,777 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

Full information can be found here.

PhD Studentship, Law, University of Nottingham

3-Year Faculty of Social Sciences PhD Studentship

School of Law, University of Nottingham

In connection with: ‘Rising from the Depths’

 

Applications are invited for a Faculty of Social Sciences and International Office funded International PhD studentship granted in connection to a recent GCRF/AHRC-funded research project, Rising from the Depths Network: utilising marine cultural heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits.  Applicants for the studentship must be nationals of Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar – countries which are the focus of the project.

The Rising from the Depths projects aims to identify ways in which marine cultural heritage can directly benefit coastal communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. Information about the project can be found at: https://risingfromthedepths.com

The successful candidate will be given some latitude as to the scope and approach of their doctorate, but the subject matter should be related to development in the coastal and/or maritime environment of East Africa and its impact on cultural heritage. Topics could include research relating to aid agreements, public private partnership, public procurement and human rights or any aspect of the so-called Blue Economy in one or a combination of the countries which are the focus of the project – Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar. Though not necessarily driven by heritage the proposed topic should demonstrate its relevance to Marine Cultural Heritage in the region and express how the research could help create wider benefits for local communities. For a fuller definition of Marine Cultural Heritage see https://risingfromthedepths.com/marine-cultural-heritage/

The studentships will be based at the University of Nottingham (there is no provision for distance-learning PhDs) with a period, or periods, of research in the proposed study location if required. This studentship is available for 3 years full-time study (subject to satisfactory progression each year) and will be supervised by Dr Annamaria La Chimia (Law) and another academic selected dependent on the details of the chosen proposal. It will cover international tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance grant (stipend) matching Research Innovation UK recommendation – for 2017/18 £14,777 per annum, pro rata.

Applicants should have a degree in a relevant discipline (minimum requirement 2i UG level – or international equivalent) and a Master’s level degree, preferably LLM  with 65% in both the taught and dissertation elements (or international equivalent) in Law or a related discipline.  Our English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 overall (with 6.0 for Listening and Speaking; 6.5 for Reading and 7.0 for Writing).

The call for applications will close on 28th September 2018 and we hope to interview short-listed candidates shortly afterwards (skype and video conferencing available). Successful applicants will be expected to start the PhD programme in January 2019.

The University of Nottingham’s Graduate School’s Research Training Programme offers a broad and comprehensive range of research training courses from ‘Using Archives in Your Research’, to ‘Pathways into Publishing’. The Graduate School also runs training targeted specifically at Faculty of Social Sciences students and the Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Centre coordinates training and events that are relevant and useful to research postgraduates in Law.

 

How to apply:

Applicants must be a national of of Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar.

Applicants should submit via email a single MS Word or PDF document which includes a curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages), a brief letter (no more than 2 pages) outlining their proposed research project and qualification for the studentship, a sample of writing (c. 3000 words) and the names and contact details of two academic referees. Please send this document to the email address risingfromthedepths@nottingham.ac.uk no later than 5pm on Thursday 28 September 2018. Please ensure the subject line of your email appears as ‘surname, first name – Faculty of Social Sciences/Nottingham studentship.’

Informal enquiries may be directed to annamaria.lachimia@nottingham.ac.uk

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete an application for PhD study in the School of Law in advance of the interview (interviews can be conducted over Skype of video conference for those unable to attend in person):

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx

Society and the Sea Conference, Greenwich University

Society and the Sea 2018; Investinblue conference: The values of the Ocean and Coasts for Sustainable Development” organised by the Greenwich Maritime Centre and National Maritime.

6th -7th September, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

This international conference will bring together industry and academia to explore the value of the ocean and coasts, key challenges being faced and opportunities for future development of the blue economy. There will be over 100 presentations, 6 stages, conference dinner on board the Cutty Sark and the launch of the new Marine Social Sciences Network.

Conference Themes and Sessions include: Maritime Infrastructure & Industry; Maritime History & Heritage; Conservation & Engagement; Small-Scale Fisheries; Blue Economy; Maritime Human Health & Wellbeing; Maritime Governance; Ocean Literacy; Making Socio-Cultural Values Count; Scuppering Invisibility; Creating Places to Belong; Art, Social Impact & Reinvention; and International Coastal Communities.

Visit the conference website for more information, the draft programme and to register:  http://www.gre.ac.uk/society-and-the-sea

PhD Studentship, University of Nottingham

3-Year Faculty of Arts and Research Board PhD Studentship, Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Nottingham, in connection with: ‘Rising from the Depths:

Applications are invited for a Faculty of Arts funded International PhD studentship granted in connection to a recent GCRF/AHRC-funded research project, Rising from the Depths Network: utilising marine cultural heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits.  Applicants for the studentship must be nationals of Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar – countries which are the focus of the project.

The Rising from the Depths project aims to identify ways in which marine cultural heritage can directly benefit coastal communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. Information about the project can be found on our website.

The successful candidate will be given some latitude as to the scope and approach of their doctorate, but the subject matter should be related to coastal and/or marine archaeology in one or a combination of the countries which are the focus of the project – Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar. The proposed topic should consider an aspect of Marine Cultural Heritage and express how the research could help create wider benefits for local communities. For a fuller definition or Marine Cultural Heritage see our website.

The studentships will be based at the University of Nottingham (there is no provision for distance-learning PhDs) with a period, or periods, of research in the proposed study location if required. This studentship is available for 3 years full-time study (subject to satisfactory progression each year) and will be supervised by Dr Jon Henderson (Archaeology) and another academic selected dependent on the details of the chosen proposal. It will cover overseas tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance grant (stipend) matching Research Councils UK recommendation – for 2017/18 £14,777 per annum, pro rata.

Applicants should have a degree in a relevant discipline and a Masters-level degree MA (at distinction or merit) in Archaeology or a related discipline, ideally with some research focus on marine archaeology or history. Preference will be given to applicants with a demonstrable knowledge and interest in East African coastal and/or marine archaeology.

The call for applications will close on 20th September 2018 and we hope to interview (skype and video conferencing available) short-listed candidates shortly afterwards. Successful applicants will be expected to start the PhD programme in January 2019.

The University of Nottingham’s Graduate School’s Research Training Programme offers a broad and comprehensive range of research training courses from ‘Using Archives in Your Research’, to ‘Pathways into Publishing’. The Graduate School also runs training targeted specifically at Faculty of Arts students and the Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Centre coordinates training and events that are relevant and useful to research postgraduates in History.

How to apply:

Applicants must be a national of of Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar.

Applicants should submit via email a single MS Word or PDF document which includes a curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages), a brief letter (no more than 2 pages) outlining their proposed research project and qualification for the studentship, a sample of writing (c. 3,000 words) and the names and contact details of two academic referees. Please send this document to the email address risingfromthedepths@nottingham.ac.uk no later than 5pm on Thursday 20th September 2018. Please ensure the subject line of your email appears as ‘surname, first name – Faculty of Arts/Nottingham studentship.’

Informal enquiries may be directed to jon.henderson@nottingham.ac.uk

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete an application for PhD study in the Department of Classics and Archaeology in advance of the interview (interviews can be conducted over Skype or video conferences for those unable to attend in person):

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx

Fellowship opportunity: Early Career Women Scientists

The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World has recently launched a two year fellowship aimed at supporting women to produce research of an international standard and to initiate collaborations and partnerships with industry and the private sector. The fellowship is open to women in low and middle income countries.

More information can be found here. 

PhD Studentship, University of Roehampton

Fully-funded PhD studentship: University of Roehampton

The University of Roehampton is a partner institution of the Global Challenges Research Fund/Arts and Humanities Research Council project titled, Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to Help Sustainable Social, Economic, and Cultural Benefits. In support of, and integral to, this project the University is offering 4 fully-funded (with bursaries) PhD studentships for social anthropology projects. A major condition for the scholarships is that applicants must be nationals of Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Madagascar – countries which are the focus of the project.

Funding, for each of the studentships, is available for 3 years full-time study. The bursary includes tuition waver and a stipend of £16.777 per year. It is expected that the successful applicants will each contribute up to 6 hours of work, per week, over a 40 week year, to the university.

These studentships will be based at the University of Roehampton (there is no provision for distance-learning PhDs) with a period, or periods, of fieldwork in the country that is the focus of the research project.

In order to be flexible in terms of perspectives we have not set specific research projects. However, we are interested in projects that are social anthropological, based on ethnographic fieldwork, in the area of ‘maritime practices’. Such practices might include, for example, but are not limited to, those within fishing; harvesting marine and coastal resources; sailing and knowledge of the sea; boatbuilding; artisanal crafts and skills; trading; heritage conservation and reconstruction; tourism and guiding; arts focusing on the sea and the coast; maritime food cultures; health, nutrition, and well-being etc. In addition to having excellent anthropological potential, the projects should also address issues of benefits, as set out in the title of the overall project.

Applicants should have a Masters-level degree in social anthropology or in a related disciplinary area, for example sociology, human geography, environmental studies etc.

The call for applications will close on 31st August 2018 and we hope to interview short-listed candidates in early September. Successful applicants will be expected to start the PhD programme in January 2019.

Applicants are encouraged to look at the details of the project at our website:

https://risingfromthedepths.com

You may contact Professor Garry Marvin, g.marvin@roehampton.ac.uk, who will be overseeing the anthropological aspects of the project, for an informal discussion of PhD ideas.

Applications should be submitted to:

https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/graduate-school/degrees/ NB: deadline of 30 June does not apply to this studentship

PhD Studentship, Community archaeology and heritage in coastal eastern Africa, University of York

Fully-funded PhD studentship: Community archaeology and heritage in coastal eastern Africa

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund/Arts and Humanities Research Council project titled, Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help Sustainable Social, Economic, and Cultural Benefits, the University of York is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship in community archaeology and heritage in coastal eastern Africa. The studentship is to be held in the Department of Archaeology, supervised by Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones. The PhD research can explore any aspect of community archaeology and heritage in this region, but should contribute to the overall research agenda of the project. It should also draw on the strengths of the department at York.

Rising from the Depths seeks to explore the marine cultural heritage of eastern Africa, and to conduct challenge-led research that can stimulate ethical, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the details of the project at our website.

The studentship will cover full overseas fees, and a stipend at the standard RCUK rate (for 2018/19 this was £14,777). Applicants must be nationals of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique or Madagascar and research should also be focused in that area. Applicants will also need to satisfy the eligibility criteria for postgraduate research at the University of York: a Masters degree in a relevant discipline and proof of English language competence (https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/apply/)

Applicants should in the first instance contact Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones (Stephanie.wynne-jones@york.ac.uk) to discuss their proposed project. Applications will be based on a research proposal and CV, to be received by 31 August 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by Skype/telephone during September 2018. The PhD studentship will begin from 1st January 2019, and will be part of a cohort of doctoral students funded by the project. Details of the other studentships are currently being advertised and are available on the project website.

PhD Studentship, Climate and human-related risks to coastal and maritime cultural heritage in eastern Africa – Bournemouth University

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund/Arts and Humanities Research Council project ‘Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help Sustainable Social, Economic, and Cultural Benefits’, Bournemouth University is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship focusing on any aspect related to (a) climate and/or human-related risks to maritime/coastal cultural heritage in eastern Africa or (b) coastal management practices to reduce environmental and social vulnerabilities associated with current and future threats (climate or human-related). The studentship is to be held in the Department of Life & Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science & Technology), supervised by Dr Luciana S. Esteves.

We are inviting applications to PhD project proposals that related to the two broad themes indicated above and select the candidate based on the quality of the proposed research and its fit to the wider scope of the ‘Rising from the Depths’ project. Rising from the Depths seeks to explore the marine/maritime cultural heritage of eastern Africa, and to conduct challenge-led research that can stimulate ethical, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the details of the project at our website.

The definition of maritime/coastal cultural heritage used within the project is broad and include tangible (such as buildings, shipwrecks, natural habitats, heritage sites) and intangible (such as traditional practices in fishing, arts, religion and other aspects related to identity of coastal communities) heritage and their relations with or dependency of the coast and/or the sea. The PhD research can explore any aspect of coastal change driven by climate and/or human activities (e.g. coastal development and port infrastructure) affecting coastal/maritime cultural heritage in eastern Africa (with particular interest in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and/or Madagascar). Projects of interest may focus on quantification of risk and vulnerability, coastal management strategies, adaptation measures and other related aspects, at any spatial scale (local, national or regional), preferably, covering temporal scales that are relevant to coastal management.

While the PhD researcher will be based at Bournemouth University, there will be opportunities of internships at partner organisations (e.g. Nottingham, York, Ulster, Cambridge, Roehampton, Eduardo Mondlane), intended to enhance research capacity and skills and promote integration within the project. A total of nine PhD studentships are being offered by project partners to candidates from East Africa. The PhD students will benefit from interacting with each other and from mentorship offered by project investigators. In this sense, the project aims to influence the creation of the next generation of researchers, building research capacity related to marine cultural heritage in the region, establishing it as an interdisciplinary field of research with major social, economic and cultural significance. The specific skills developed at BU will depend on the focus of the PhD research, and may include: GIS, regional analysis of global data, shoreline change analysis, fieldwork and remote sensing techniques,  in addition to collaborative work, interdisciplinary thinking, working in multicultural teams and environments.

You can read the full advert here.

Rising from the Depths funding call is live

The Rising from the Depths Network is happy to announce that it’s first funding call for Innovative Projects is live.

The call is open to small, medium and large projects that aim to fill knowledge gaps in Marine Cultural Heritage, tackle challenge based issues and create tangible benefits in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Applications are open until 12pm (UK time) on the 14th of September 2018.

You can read our full funding call here. 

Representing Africa in British Museums – Rosalie Hans

Rosalie Hans

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, 8th June 2018

This one-day conference, organised to celebrate the newly renovated African displays at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), comprised of presentations by a great number of well-known curators of African collections in British museums. Organised in association with the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of the University of Exeter and chaired by Professor Timothy Insoll, the day started with this introduction. It highlighted some of the criticisms students have made of African galleries in museums over the past couple of years like the challenged of displaying the geography of Africa, its supposed timelessness and the debate between presenting African artefacts as art or in a more contextualised setting.

Following this critical note, speakers such as Dr Zachary Kingdon, Africa curator of the World Museum in Liverpool and Dr Sarah Worden, senior curator of African collections at the National Museums of Scotland, detailed the history of their institution’s African galleries. They showed how the representation of Africa has radically changed from the colonial and racist mind-set of the late 19th and early 20th century to a more inclusive curatorial practice that tries to reflect the origins of the collections and its difficult colonial legacies and tell more accurate stories about Africa. Still, Malik Saako Mahmud, Senior Curator at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board pointed out that there is continuing work to do to ‘decolonise’ African collections and their displays further.

Dr Malika Kraamer, curator of World Cultures at Leicester Arts and Museums Service, Professor John Mack of the Sainsbury Research Unit and Dr Chris Wingfield, Senior Curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, focused on how research into, and reconsideration of, certain types of objects can change the way Africa is represented in exhibitions. Kraamer’s plea for a rethinking of kente cloth in museum collections and Wingfield’s research into missionary collections from Southern Africa emphasised that the agency of African people needs to be considered when looking at and displaying collections. It is a challenge faced by many curators in British museums that the information available about collections is often limited to the European collectors and does not include information about the African people that were involved in the process. Tony Eccles, curator of ethnography at the RAMM, described how approaching the redisplay in Exeter through the theme of ‘commerce’ allowed him to circumvent some of these issues by presenting artefacts as products in processes of interaction rather than as hermetic works of art. Nevertheless, Professor John Mack argued that objects formerly described as ‘fetishes’, but more accurately called nkisi, are now considered in a more contemporary artistic manner which allows for their appreciation beyond a historical relegation to the realm of ritual and magic.

By reflecting on recent temporary exhibitions related to African collections, Dr John Giblin, formerly of the British Museum and now Head of Collections at the Royal Museums of Scotland, and Stephen Welsh and Campbell Price of the Manchester Museum, opened up the discussion to the perception of Africa by visitors. Giblin shared some of the findings of the evaluation of a South Africa exhibition at the British Museum and how the British public responded to a more critical approach to the British role in South Africa’s history. Welsh and Price emphasised the museum’s work with diverse local communities and advocated for a move from a multicultural vision of the museum to a poly-vocal one, stimulating dialogue and participation from diverse audiences.

All in all, the conference enabled many fruitful conversations during the day and provided much food for thought for the future. It is clear that, apart from practical constraints, the representation of Africa in British museums is an on-going process of rethinking that needs to be reflected upon with many stakeholders, not in the least with those people whose culture and history are presented in the galleries.

Workshop at University of Dar es Salaam

On 3rd July, Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Paul Lane of the RfTD team were at the University of Dar es Salaam for a workshop discussing community heritage programmes in Tanzania. The RftD grant calls were discussed, and much valuable feedback was given by our Tanzanian colleagues. Dr Emmanuel Kessy, our regional coordinator was also present and helped structure discussions. We look forward to working with our UDSM colleagues in future as we develop RftD projects in the region.

Find out more about the CONCH project here.

 

Rising from the Depths cited as best practice at UNESCO meeting

The Rising from the Depths project was cited as an example of best practice in sustainable marine heritage management at the Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body on the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage last week (23rd April 2018). Ulrike Guerin, UNESCO Programme Specialist responsible for the 2001 Convention, stated that the project could act as ‘a driver for cohesion between social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development’. The exchange day meeting, held on the 23rd April at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, focused on the potential role marine cultural heritage could play in in the understanding, promotion and protection of Oceans within the forthcoming United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). It was attended by representatives of the 58 state signatories to the 2001 Convention and held in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), the body responsible for the organization of marine science within the UN system.

Dr Jon Henderson, who attended the meeting on behalf of Rising from the Depths project, said ‘The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are setting the global agenda and, as a result, are going to be instrumental to academic research for the next 12 years. If marine cultural heritage is to progress, establish itself in modern practice, and realise its full potential, then it needs to respond to these challenges. Rising from the Depths has a key role to play in this as it is harnessing the potential of marine heritage to inform solutions to real challenges in East Africa such as rapid coastal development, climate change and unsustainable fishing practices.’

 

JOB OPENING: Rising from the Depths Project Manager

Rising from the Depths Project Manager (fixed term)

The University of Nottingham has received funding from the RC UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund which is a £1.5Bn initiative aiming to tackle global challenges in the national interest. The project ‘Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits’ is a multi-partner interdisciplinary research project with an ambitious programme for delivery.

Rising from the Depths will identify ways in which marine cultural heritage can benefit coastal communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. The project will establish and maintain a trans-boundary and cross-sector network of arts and humanities-led researchers, government officers, scientists, policy makers, UN officials, NGOs, ICT professionals and specialists working in heritage, infrastructure and the offshore industry, to identify new opportunities and methodologies for utilising the marine cultural heritage of East Africa to stimulate alternative sources of income, foster local identities, and enhance the value and impact of overseas aid in the marine sector. Information about the project can be found at: https://risingfromthedepths.com.

The University of Nottingham is leading the network and is seeking to appoint a Project Manager. The successful candidate will have previous experience of administration and project management as well as proven experience of financial planning and reporting. You will have excellent oral and written communication skills with proven experience of maintaining effective working relationships and experience of working with a diverse set of stakeholders including senior academics and funders.

In the role you will be required to manage and coordinate the programme of international network and engagement events (including booking travel and arranging all aspects of the events), support and manage the distribution of a series of project funding calls, act as a liaison point for all project members, network members and external partners, monitor and report on the project budget ensuring all expenditure is in line with University Policies, are ODA compliant and are in line with the terms and conditions of the grant. Other duties include supporting all project meetings, assisting with the production of reports and other material for dissemination as well as ensuring effective delivery of day-to-day administration for the project. The role holder will be based in the UK.

The project team will require the successful candidate to work flexibly to meet the objectives of what will be a challenging programme, requiring effective monitoring and organising people across a range of countries. You should have proven experience of prioritising changing workloads, meeting tight deadlines and setting and achieving milestones. You will have excellent IT skills and experience of using these within a project management setting.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 31st September 2021 and is a full time post. Job share arrangements may be considered.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Jon Henderson, tel: 0115-9514842 or email
Jon.henderson@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

The closing date for completed applications is: Monday 26 March 2018

Salary: £29799 to £30688 per annum (pro-rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience.

 

For more information on the post and to apply online go here:

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/jobs/currentvacancies/ref/ARTS030218X1

 

JOB OPENING: Rising from the Depths Post-Doc Position (Anthropology)

Rising from the Depths Post Doctoral Researcher (Anthropology)

The University of Roehampton is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our Life Sciences department as part of an AHRC-funded research project, Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits. Applicants should have a PhD in social anthropology, have conducted ethnographic research in Mozambique, Tanzania or Kenya, and have a good knowledge of one of the local languages. Knowledge of Swahili would be especially useful. The successful candidate will be able to develop their own research project within the remit of the project – particularly in the areas of cultural memory, indigenous understandings of the past, relationships with marine/maritime cultures. You will help with identifying potential areas of research, relating to the themes above, for 4 PhD projects that will form part of the overall project and work with other researchers in the team to explore issues relating to marine cultural heritage.

This post is available on a fixed-term basis for 12 months.

For enquiries relating to this position please contact Professor Garry Marvin, g.marvin@roehampton.ac.uk.

This is an exciting time for the University; our new £35m state-of-the art library has just opened and we are continuing to develop a number of external partnerships across the globe.

We have a strong emphasis on supporting our students to reach their full potential in order to launch themselves onto successful graduate careers and we are embarking on a radical programme of enhancement in learning and teaching across all our academic areas. ‘In the Complete University Guide 2018, Roehampton is the highest-ranked modern university in London. Modern, or new, universities are defined as those granted university status post-1992. Complete University Guide does not itself define modern universities and does not produce a separate league table in which these are ranked.’

The University has a beautiful, vibrant parkland campus, is located in the heart of south-west London and offers excellent facilities for researching, learning, teaching and working.

To find out more information about the role and what we’re looking for, visit the Working at Roehampton section of our website where you will find full details, how to apply, as well as further information about the benefits of working for us.

http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Working-at-Roehampton/

The closing date for completed applications is: Thursday 1 March 2018

It is expected that interviews will be held on: during March 2018

The University is an equal opportunities and ‘disability confident’ employer

For more information on the post and to apply online go here:

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BHQ056/postdoctoral-research-associate/

 

JOB OPENING: Rising from the Depths Post-Doc Position (Heritage/Development)

Rising from the Depths Post Doctoral Researcher (Heritage/Development)

The University of Nottingham has received funding from the RC UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund which is a £1.5Bn initiative aiming to tackle global challenges in the national interest. The project ‘Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits’ is a multi-partner interdisciplinary research project with an ambitious programme for delivery.

The Rising from the Depths Network will identify ways in which marine cultural heritage can directly benefit coastal communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. The project will establish and maintain a trans-boundary and cross-sector network of arts and humanities-led researchers, government officers, scientists, policy makers, UN officials, NGOs, ICT professionals and specialists working in heritage, infrastructure and the offshore industry, to identify new opportunities and methodologies for protecting and utilising the marine cultural heritage of East Africa to stimulate alternative sources of income, foster local identities, and enhance the value and impact of overseas aid in the marine sector.

The University of Nottingham is leading the network and is seeking a PDRA with a research interests in East African cultural heritage and/or development studies. Applicants should have a PhD in a related archaeology, heritage or development field. Experience of working on research or development projects in East Africa would be an advantage. The PDRA will have specific responsibility for scoping and reporting on development and heritage methodologies that could be applicable to conducting, assessing and monitoring Arts and Humanities led research in an East African context.

The person appointed will be expected to plan and conduct work in close collaboration with the project Co-Is, PDRAs at other institutions as well as with project partners in the region.  They will be responsible for writing up their work for publication. The person appointed will be based in the Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Nottingham and is expected to work in close collaboration with our University project partners (Roehampton, Bournemouth, Ulster, York, Uppsala in Sweden and Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique) and engage with organisations part of the network (including UNESCO, The World Monuments Fund, The British Museum, the British Institute in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association). The person appointed will be expected to use their initiative and creativity to identify areas for research development and extend their own research portfolio.

This is a part time position working 29 hours per week (0.8 FTE), fixed term until 1 April 2019.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Jon Henderson, tel: 0115-9514842 or email jon.henderson@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

For more information on the post and to apply online go here:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/jobs/currentvacancies/ref/ARTS028318

JOB OPENING: Rising from the Depths Post-Doc Position (Geosciences/Physical Geography)

Rising from the Depths Post-Doctoral Researcher (Geosciences/Physical Geography)

The Faculty of Science & Technology, University of Bournemouth, is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and competent researcher to contribute to the Rising from the Depths Network project.

The post offers the opportunity to join an interdisciplinary team of academic staff, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students, providing a stimulating and challenging opportunity to develop research with social impact in East Africa. The person appointed will be based in the Department of Life & Environmental Sciences at Bournemouth University and is expected to work in close collaboration with project partners (Nottingham, Roehampton, Ulster, York, Uppsala in Sweden and Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique) and engage with organisations part of the network.

Ideally, you will have a PhD in a subjected related to geosciences or physical geography or demonstrate clear evidence of research experience at a commensurate level. You will have experience in analysing quantitative and qualitative data to quantify/assess environmental changes in coastal and/or marine settings. A track record of publications in journals is essential. You will need to be self-motivated and a team player with good written and oral communication skills.

The successful candidate will have specific responsibility for scoping and reporting on anthropogenic and climate-driven environmental changes and coastal management practices affecting risks and preservation of marine cultural heritage in East Africa. The key objective of the work will be to collate and analyse data to identify areas where coastal and marine cultural heritage are at greater risk from human-induced and climate-driven environmental change. The PDRA will contribute strongly to the project by creatively applying relevant research techniques and methods to develop the research agenda and be actively engaged in collaborative work, in writing new research proposals and disseminating the work through publications and presentations.

This post is available on a fixed-term basis for 12 months; the post is part-time 0.8 FTE.

For informal discussions contact Dr Luciana S. Esteves, lesteves@bournemouth.ac.uk, tel. +44 (0)1202 962446.

Apply here:

https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/post-doctoral-researcher-fixed-term-part-time

 

First Museum of Archaeology opens in Mozambique

The first ever Museum of Archaeology in Mozambique was opened at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo on the 19th December 2017. The museum is affiliated with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FLCS) and managed by the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology. It is the first to chart the prehistory and history of Mozambique from early humans up until the modern era. As well as archaeological exhibits there is lecture space and galleries for sculpture, painting and photography exhibits.

Read more about the inauguration of this important new museum here:

http://www.uem.mz/index.php/noticias-recentes/954-uem-inaugura-museu-de-arqueologia

http://africatimes.com/2017/12/22/mozambique-university-opens-new-archaeology-museum/

UNESCO and Italian underwater archaeologists meet in Kenya

Safeguarding underwater cultural heritage for sustainable development in Kenya

UNESCO joined forces with the Italian Cultural Institute in Kenya to participate in a two-day lecture series and film presentation entitled “Italian Archeologists: Between Desert and Sea”, which took place 10 and 11November 2017 at the Michael Joseph Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

For more details of the meeting click here or below:

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/nairobi/about-this-office/single-view/news/safeguarding_underwater_cultural_heritage_for_sustainable_de/

For further information on Italian underwater archaeologists working with Kenyan archaeologists click here or below:

http://www.iicnairobi.esteri.it/iic_nairobi/it/

African Archaeology Research Day 2017

The 2017 African Archaeology Research Day (AARD) meeting, which will be hosted on Saturday 25 November at the Department of Archaeology, University of York.

The African Archaeology Research Day has been an annual event in the UK since 2002 and the first meeting held at the University of Oxford. The meetings are informal and are aimed at encouraging both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as established academics, to present their research. They include plenty of time for informal discussion. Since 2002, the conference has been led by various academics in the field, at different venues across the country. Last year’s event at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, was extremely successful at showcasing the range of research being undertaken on Africa’s past.

Stephanie Wyne-Jones, a member of the organising committee, will present a paper on the Rising from the Depths project at the meeting.

More information on the meeting can be found on the project website here.

Coastal management

Sustainable ecosystem-based management of estuaries and coasts

If you are an early career researcher based in the UK or South Africa and interested in sustainable ecosystem-based management of estuaries and coasts, watch this space as in February we’ll be selecting 30 participants for a South Africa-UK Researcher Links Workshop taking place in Durban on 19-21 June 2018.

Workshop coordinators and mentors include: Lu Esteves (Bournemouth University); Trevor Hill (Univ Kwazulu-Natal); Bronwyn Goble (Oceanographic Research Institute); Louis Cellier (CSIR); Mike Elliot and Katie Smyth (University of Hull) and Andrew Cooper (University of Ulster).

Venue: Oceanographic Research Institute – uShaka Marine World, Durban, South Africa

Grant Success

Major AHRC-GCRF grant success for Rising from the Depths project

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have just announced five major new interdisciplinary networks that will be based at universities across the UK using more than £9m from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The 5 networks will run from October 2017 for up to 4 years, and will showcase the distinctive contribution that arts and humanities research can bring to development in low and middle income countries.

The Rising from the Depths Network has won £2 million for a 4 year project (2017-21) which aims to help East African communities better understand and benefit from marine cultural heritage.

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