Dr Emilie Guitard
Research associate, former researcher & Deputy Scientific Director at IFRA-Nigeria
As a Doctor in Anthropology (Paris Nanterre University, France), I study urbanity and urban governance through the relationships to nature in several cities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
My PhD research was conducted between 2007 and 2011 with public authorities and city-dwellers of two North Cameroonian, middle-size cities (Garoua and Maroua); it focused on the perceptions and the institutional and popular practices of waste management, linked to power relations. Then in 2015, within the frame of a postdoctoral position at the ANR “Interdisciplinary Programm on Indigenous indicators of Fauna and Flora” (PIAF), directed by Dr A. Sourdril (Ladyss), I conducted ethnographic fieldwork with city-dwellers and authorities of Hwange (Western Zimbabwe), a small mining town close to the biggest protected area of the country, to capture how ecological changes are diagnosed, notably through local indicators of biodiversity.
In keeping with this research work, I started in 2016 as a Researcher for IFRA Nigeria, new research on relations to nature in the two cities of Ibadan and Lagos, South West Nigeria. Through the analysis of the local knowledges and relations to urban trees in Ibadan, and to natural spaces and places where waste is disposed in the public spaces of Lagos, I am analysing the role played by urban nature in the definition of city-dwellers’ identities, memories and communities, and as a tool for urban governance, in these two megacities.