Tag: experimentation

Ways of Knowing: Lessons on Agroecological Transitions from a Pothwari Farm

Contemporary agroecological farming is a knowledge-intensive form of production that can maximize the productivity of energy flows, which are central to the productive forces. Cumulatively, it is suggested, the terms and conditions by which the contemporary agrarian question can be resolved is through an agroecological agrarian transition. (Haroon Akram-Lodhi, 2021) Three years ago, I started a farm in my village Tareel, which is located less than ten kilometers outside the metropolitan border of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Tareel is in the rain-fed Pothwar plateau near the Himalayan foothills, and like many peri-urban areas in South Asia, is rapidly urbanizing and increasingly reliant on the nearby urban economy. The rain-fed nature of agriculture here makes it more prone to climatic risk and loss, and therefore less remunerative. As a researcher and self-identifying ‘citizen planner,’ I was curious if new methods of agriculture could make the sector remunerative enough to counter the desire to convert agricultural land into real estate. Since I was familiar with the emerging significance of agroecology and regenerative agriculture  in climate adaptation, I was motivated to understand what it would take to help us transition towards practices closer to agroecology. (read more...)

Art, neuroscience and ethnography

Neuroscience The brain is a wild and wonderful thing. Even in a damaged, broken, or diseased state, it performs wonders. Oliver Sacks, neurologist and prolific writer, knew this and he wrote a series of books that documented the inner machinations of injured minds. These are detailed clinical studies of patients, documenting the unusual and often unimaginable. Many of these conditions are extraordinarily rare, drawn from only one or two documented cases. Oliver Sacks collected these clinical case studies, presenting them to his readers like some sort of text-based museum of the absurd. Almost ethnographic stories. Many of his patient accounts are studies in imagination, delusion, sensory, and memory – a ‘frenzied confabulatory delirium’ (Sacks 1998: 109), ‘kaleidoscopic mutations’ (108), ‘sensory ghosts’ (66), and an 88-year-old woman living with neuro-syphilis who preferred the state of ‘mania’ (103). His stories speak of the visceral of the injured mind – sensitivities, time slippage, pain, (read more...)