Nina Alnes Haslie
Thematic: Environment, nature/culture, space/place, material culture, symbols.
Regional: Latin America and the Caribbean (Nicaragua and Cuba)
Background and employment history
After finishing my Master of Social Anthropology in June 2009 I worked three semesters, from August 2009 until December 2010, as a seminar leader for Kulturstudier (Culture Studies) in León, Nicaragua, teaching "Latin American studies". It is a regional introductory course for students of the social sciences, mainly based on anthropological articles.
From September through November 2010 I also worked as a research assistant for professor Carla Dahl-Jørgensen (NTNU), doing initial research on new work types, working conditions and migration between the U.S.A. and Central America.
In August 2011 I returned to Nicaragua to do a 11 month long fieldwork in León/Las Peñitas. In addition I gave four lectures in the subject "Culture and society in Latin America" for visiting Norwegian and Swedish students of Culture Studies.
Protection, parks, sustainable development, social impact, matter, sociomaterial practices, stories, placemaking.
When, how and why does a tree become culture? What kind of places is the protection of a nature reserve creating, and who are the many human and non-human agents at work in such places? Isla de Juan Venado, Nicaragua, a 22 kilometres long island of mangroves and sand and the mangrove forest lining it, has since 1983 been protected by the Nicaraguan Ministry of the environment and natural resources. It is described as an ”ecological treasure of 4600 hectars”, forms part of the UNESCO ”Mesoamerican biological corridor” and is one of the largest redoubts in Central America. Redoubt could mean both entity, object; physical object, artifact; artefact, structure; construction, defensive structure; defence and stronghold; fastness (Wordreference. 08.05.2010. www.wordreference.com), all of which are good starting points for an investigation of the blurry borders between nature and humans.
The aim of this research project is to investigate what happens when ecologial material, like a mangrove forest, takes on cultural functions, what this change and shift in meaning and connotations do to the place and its people, and what sociomaterial practices are at work here. Further I want to investigate what kind of stories, activities and realities this half living, half dying and always changing mangrove forest tell and create, and what the displacement and devaluation of local knowledge, understandings, activities and stories has done to this nature reserve and the people living on its margins. For what happens to a place when its borders are redefined, its places renamed, its content categorized and valorized and all activities within its borders restricted? If places are inherently socially or sociomaterially produced - could there be a place without human practices and interaction?
Juan Venado is a material place you could move through, where trees, water, histories and peoples gather, and where the concept of nature is always negotiated and contested. It is also an intermediary zone where a village and a forest, water and trees, science and myths meet. The reserve is described as a place where ”nature takes root”, however I will argue that there are many other agents, values and practices that hold this contested reserve in place.
Time for carnival in Trinidad de Cuba
Picture and text for the exibitions "Anthropological views - doing fieldwork with a camera" and "The World Kaleidoscope," displayed at the University of Oslo and the Museum of Cultural History 2009/2010, and in Kunstpassasjen at Oslo Central Station, summer 2011.
- Haslie, Nina Alnes (2011). Kampen om verdensarven.. Dagsavisen. ISSN 1503-2892.
- Haslie, Nina Alnes (2010). Fra brev til blogg. Underveis - moving is knowing., I: Julia Steen Loge (red.), Gull og Grønne Skoger: Norske Interesser i Latin-Amerika. Solidaritet Forlag. ISBN 978-829191626-2. Del av kapittel 2. s 34 - 37
- Haslie, Nina Alnes (2009). Å leve med arv. Om forhandling med fortid, nåtid og framtid på Verdensarvstedet Trinidad de Cuba..