272 pages, 21 illustrations
The global agenda of Nature conservation has led to the creation of the Masoala National Park in Madagascar and to an exhibit in its support at a Swiss zoo, the centerpiece of which is a mini-rainforest replica. Does such a cooperation also trigger a connection between ordinary people in these two far-flung places? The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Text
Chapter 1. A Virtual Tour through Little Masoala
Chapter 2. Intention and Perception
Chapter 3. Zooming in on Morality
Chapter 4. A Kind of People
Chapter 5. The Coconut Schema
Extract from 'Marrakech' by George Orwell
Chapter 6. Living With the Masoala National Park
Chapter 7. The Banana Plant and the Moon
Chapter 8. The Island of the Wanderer
Chapter 9. Who Are 'They'?
Chapter 10. Historical Reflections
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Eva Keller has been carrying out anthropological research in Madagascar since 1998 and is currently a research fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Zurich. She received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics in 2002 and is the author of The Road to Clarity.