What is Environment in Context?
Environment in Context is a podcast series for critical and incisive analysis of environmental questions in the Middle East and beyond. It invites guests and listeners to rethink these questions by taking a broad stance on what counts as an environmental issue. Whereas environmental questions in the Middle East are usually framed in terms of security, water, or oil, this series purposefully seeks out a wide array of sources and perspectives in examining important environmental issues across the region. Too often, Euro-American international institutions dominate and depoliticize the conversation on the environment. This series, however, foregrounds environmental justice as a central analytical framework.
January 2021: Fast Fashion and Sustainability in Bahrain (Rawan Maki)
Huma Gupta speaks with scholar and fashion designer Rawan Maki about fast fashion and the question of sustainability in Bahrain and beyond. Maki traces the life-cycle of the clothing we wear every day, mapping its geographies from the crops and petroleum necessary to produce organic and synthetic fibers, the individuals who farm, weave, and sew the garments to shipping, distribution, tailoring and purchasing networks.
December 2020: The Transformation of Dubai Creek into Infrastructure (Todd Reisz)
Huma Gupta speaks with architectural historian Todd Reisz about the transformation of the marshy estuary known as Dubai Creek (خور دبي) into infrastructure – a process which was central to the city’s architectural and urban development projects in the twentieth century.
December 2020: Environmental Reclamations (Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Alishine Osman, Anisa Salat)
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi speaks with Alishine Osman, Anisa Salat, and Huma Gupta about their experiences of environmental scarcity and diaspora, as well as the refugee camps and urban environments that became the landscapes of that trajectory.
November 2020: Wetlands and the Moral Ecologies of Infrastructure in Turkey (Caterina Scaramelli)
Huma Gupta and Camille Cole speak with the anthropologist Caterina Scaramelli about Turkey’s wetland ecosystems. Scaramelli unpacks how many different shallow water ecosystems are materially and discursively produced into a flattened category called 'wetlands'.
September 2020: Ecologies of Capital in Egypt (Aaron Jakes)
Huma Gupta and Camille Cole speak with Aaron Jakes about Egypt’s occupation and the history of capitalism as both a social and an ecological process.
August 2020: Ecological Imaginaries of Water and Climate Change in Dubai (Nadia Christidi)
Huma Gupta and Danya Al-Saleh speak with Nadia Christidi, who explains how an anthropological approach can help us understand the political practices and economic rationalities of water governance based on her fieldwork in Dubai.
July 2020: Phosphates & the Political Economy of Environmental Transformation in Tunisia (Layli Faroudi)
Huma Gupta speaks with journalist Layli Foroudi to explore how the story of phosphates can help us understand the political economy of environmental transformation in Tunisia from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century.
July 2020: Green Energy Colonialism in the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights (Wael Tarabieh, Muna Dajani, Malihe Razazan)
Malihe Razazan, Wael Tarabieh, and Muna Dajani discuss how the conversation about a decarbonized economy cannot be separated from prevailing power structures and systems of oppression including colonialism through the example of Israel’s project to build the largest onshore wind farm in the occupied Golan Heights.
June 2020: Cement, War and Toxicity: The Materialities of Displacement in Iraq (Kali Rubaii)
Huma Gupta and Gabi Kirk speak with the anthropologist Kali Rubaii and learn about how ecologies of war have not only produced multiple waves of displacement, but also have intimately shaped the lives of displaced Iraqis through the materiality of cement.
April 2020: Green Sukuk: The Future of Islamic Financing for Climate Change Adaptation (Aneil Tripathy, Bassam Haddad)
Huma Gupta and Bassam Haddad speak with Aneil Tripathy about the role of Islamic Financing in the development of the global Green Bond industry, with a focus on Sukuk, which are asset-backed financial certificates that were developed over a millenia ago and are compliant with the Islamic principle of Shari'ah.