My name is Anya, and my project here is Common Fire, a digital platform that shares local knowledge, stories and crafts globally, while allowing local makers, elders, and knowledge-holders to participate directly in the global market-place. I haven’t thought of a short, one-sentence explanation but there you are – a first attempt! 🙂
My background is from conservation biology and (don’t be surprised) fine art. I did my undergrad in biological conservation and my MFA here in Oxford in intermedia arts, and am now doing my DPhil, concentrating on integrating indigenous epistemologies into policy and practice regarding the extractive industry on native land. I work (and have always done, whether in art or in science) in Siberia, Russia.
I ended up in this program because of years of working in and with communities across Siberia (I had never done any sort of social projects, I was just tagging birds). But this time afforded me some insight into the difficulties and contradiction indigenous Siberian people face when confronted simultaneously with a loss of culture and language, the push to participate in a globalized economy, and the geographic isolation which has historically made this participation extremely difficult. The choice between preserving culture and participating in global development is a false one. The necessity to “choose one” is preserved in our consciousness by the way local and indigenous culture is presented in the West. So, having had enough of this one day I decided to try to propose an alternative paradigm.
Eager to meet you all, learn about Social Entrepreneurship and get this party started.
See you soon!