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Social Media and the Political Economy of Conservation, 25 April

‘I Nature’: Web 2.0, Social Media and the Political Economy of Conservation
PRESENTER: Bram Buscher
DATE: Friday, 25 April
TIME: 12:30-2pm
VENUE:CCS Seminar Room 6th floor MTB, UKZN Howard College Campus

The emerging links between new media and biodiversity conservation allow conservation organisations to draw (potential) supporters deeper into their activities and for supporters to feel that they, at least partially, co-create the types of natures they wish to conserve. In this presentation, I argue that the so-called co-creative or 'prosumptive' web 2.0 as applied to nature conservation derives from a long history of the intensification of the political economy of the sign under late capitalism. I will give an overview of the manifold ways in which this new field of 'nature 2.0', a complex iteration of 'second nature' that stimulates and complicates the commodification of biodiversity and encourages the reimagination of nature online, is transforming the governance, politics and 'liking' of nature.

Bram Büscher is Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, The Netherlands, and holds visiting positions at the University of Johannesburg and Stellenbosch. He has published widely on the political economy of conservation, the politics of energy and political ecology more generally and is the author of transforming the Frontier. Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa (Duke University Press, 2013).

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