Browsing by Author "Christine, Ampumuza"
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- ItemGorilla habituation and the role of animal agency in conservation and tourism development at Bwindi, South Western Uganda(EPE: Nature and Space, 2021) Christine, Ampumuza; Clemens, DriessenDiscussions of gorilla habituation often emphasise human control of gorillas, whereby gorillas are usually singularly defined by their species membership. This perspective leaves little room for imagining the role of gorillas in habituation, conservation and tourism development processes. In this paper, we use insights from Actor Network Theory and more-than-human geography to explore and reconstruct the practice of gorilla habituation in order to understand gorillas as actors in habituation, conservation and tourism development at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (here- after Bwindi), Uganda. To do so, we use the concept of relational animal agency to trace the various ways in which gorillas interact with each other, various groups of people, and their environment. Ethnographic observations, unstructured interviews and document study indicate that gorillas are ‘multiple’ and thus need to be understood beyond their species membership alone. They are involved in intricate relations with each other, with other non-human and human subjects, and their shared environment. Furthermore, gorillas are not completely and passively controlled by humans through habituation: we argue that habituation as a relational process is more complex. Gorillas also habituate other gorillas and arguably can be seen to habituate humans as well. As a result, gorillas co-produce multiple versions of the Bwindi landscape, of conservation, tourism and development practices, as well as multiple ways of being gorillas. Based on these insights, we argue that instead of focusing on control, the dynamics between gorillas and their landscapes could be harnessed to explore a dynamic range of possibilities for living together with gorillas, while continuously adapting to issues that will arise in places such as Bwindi.
- ItemGorilla Tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda: An Actor-Network Perspective(Society & Natural Resources An International Journal, 2014) René, van der Duim; Christine, Ampumuzahis article performs actor-network theory (ANT) to examine the development of gorilla tourism at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. We depict a number of translations in which gorillas were designated and enrolled as coexisting with local livelihood practices, as ‘‘trophies’’ in the hunting network, ‘‘man’s closest neighbor’’ in the scientific network, ‘‘endangered species’’ in the conservation network, and finally, through habituation processes, became part of the tourism network. These five versions of the ‘‘gorilla’’ network show how gorillas are shaped in and by the relations in which they reside. By examining Bwindi in terms of ANT’s notions of ordering, materiality, and multiplicity, we not only show how gorilla tourism has gained permanence and popularity, but also draw attention to new ways of thinking about actors and agency in tourism, conservation, and development
- ItemLiving with Gorillas? Lessons from Batwa-Gorillas’ Convivial Relations at Bwindi Forest, Uganda(Conservation and Society, 2022) Christine, AmpumuzaIn recent years, convivial conservation has been proposed as a better alternative to fortress conservation by working with marginalised communities. This is a welcome development because most of the injustices and failures of fortress conservation arose from neglecting local communities’ view of being with nature, and knowledges of nature (plural of knowledge highlights that there are multiple ways and types of acquiring and transmitting knowledge through generations). A critical analysis of the conservation literature indicates a disharmony between the indigenous ways, and Northern ways of being with nature—an ontological discord in conservation. This article considers convivial conservation as starting point to address this discord. Based on the content analysis of stories of Batwa’s historical relations with gorillas, unstructured interviews, ethnographic village stays, and empirical observations, we argue that open-mindedness—to learn from, to be affected by and affect our fellow dwellers on earth (human and non-human)—marks the starting point of convivial living. Therefore, convivial conservation can further be enriched by expanding the scope of historical reparations to include knowledges that have been historically excluded. To do so, convivial conservation scholars need to emphasise the co-creation of knowledge with their human and non-human counterparts. By doing so, these scholars will safeguard against marginalising other ways of knowing, thus achieving its transformative agenda.
- ItemMaterial Pacification: How a Conflict Over Paving Uganda’s Tourism Road Got Accidentally Resolved(Tourism Planning & Development, 2021) Christine, Ampumuza; Martijn, Duineveld; René, van der DuimStarting from an Actor-network Theory (ANT) inspired relational perspective on object formation and material agency, this article analyses the controversies about plans to pave the Ruhija road through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda). Based on interviews, ethnographic observations, and analysis of relevant documents, we examine the multiple ways in which the Ruhija road is enacted and objectified in conservation, tourism, and planning practices. We further show how these different objectifications of the Ruhija road not only led to enduring conflicts but also contributed to postponing the plans to pave the road. We argue that improving traction of the road pacified the conflicts. The partial solidification of the muddiest parts of the road unintentionally matched with the different “road realities” of the actors involved. Our analysis shows how the vibrancy of materiality is always relational, and can only be understood by taking into account the context of their objectification
- ItemThe most marginalized people in Uganda? Alternative realities of Batwa at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park(Elsevier, 2020) Christine, Ampumuza; Martijn, Duineveld; Ren´e van der, DuimIndigenous peoples such as the Batwa in Uganda are predominantly seen as marginalised groups, leaving little room for foregrounding their power, influence and involvement in tourism and development. Inspired by Foucauldian discourse theory and Actor-Network Theory [ANT], we use the concept of relational agency to analyse how the Batwa contribute to conservation and tourism development, and deepen our understanding of agency in the context of the Batwa at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda). Based on this conceptualisation we analysed the dominant (academic and non-academic) discourses on the Batwa in the light of in-depth ethnographic research to seek for alternative Batwa realities. Whereas scientific, NGO and governmental literature predominantly reduced the Batwa to marginalised, poor and oppressed victims of development, our ethnographic research observed the Batwa as a vibrant community that deploys expertise on forest ecology, tourism entrepreneurship, organisational capacity and political activism. With such insights we discuss the consequences of agency reduction and the ways to take the Batwa’s situational agency into account. Highlighting the multiple realities of Batwa-ness provide a starting point of relating with the Batwa in ways that acknowledge them as agential, rather than only marginalised.