Organised by the Animals and Biodiversity Think Tank programme and hosted by the Global Research Network, we are happy to offer a live viewing of the documentary entitled “Rhino People”. It is based on research from the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group and funded by National Geographic, under their call “Making the case for nature”. This follows up on our activities in relation to July’s focus on wildlife trade, species extinction, and environmental and wildlife crime.
The documentary comes in three short parts, each utilising a different approach to discourage the support of the illegal rhino horn trade. The aim is to bring the research of the documentary’s creators (listed below) to the wider public through both viewing the documentary and discussing with the creators themselves during the Q&A that will follow, to raise awareness of rhino horn poaching and the personal impacts it has on the rhinos and those who care for them. The documentary was primarily created to be viewed by those who may buy or consume rhino horn. A further aim is therefore to offer a space for discussion on the impact the film had on attendees, as well as how individuals may be able to have a meaningful impact in supporting the dissuading of rhino horn consumption and buying.
As part of the Global Research Network, the Think Tank programme on Animals and Biodiversity works to fulfil its aim of organising meaningful events and related projects, as well as provide resources concerning animal studies, using an interdisciplinary, international perspective. These efforts include sharing updates on current and upcoming events, as well as publishing a wide range of resources that are relevant to each month’s theme, including working papers, blog posts, publications, and recommended readings. Monthly events often take the form of roundtables, workshops, a Conversations series, and interviews.
Professor Samantha Hurn
Samantha Hurn is Associate Professor (Anthropology), Director of the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group, and Programme Director for the MA and PhD Anthrozoology programmes at the University of Exeter. Sam has researched and published on trans-species interactions in diverse contexts including street dog management in Romania; rhino poaching in South Africa; eco-tourism in South Africa and Swaziland; animal agriculture in the UK; non-traditional companion animals; and her most recent research, funded by the Society for Companion Animal Studies, is concerned with finding ways to better support childhood experiences of disenfranchised grief following the loss of companion animals.
Dr Fenella Eason
Fenella is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Exeter, and a member of EASE, the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics working group. Her 2017 PhD in Anthrozoology was an ethnographic study of symbiotic practices of care performed by co-existing human–canine partnerships in the field of scent detection and chronic illness; this was later published as a Routledge monograph. Other interests lie in the consequences of companion animal death on conspecifics and human caregivers, and in further understanding non-invasive, pain-free multispecies biomedical interventions and experiences. Duties and practices of care for rhino were notable during the National Geographic-funded project in which Fenella and colleagues travelled through South African game reserves to interview and film wildlife veterinarians and conservationists, rhino orphanage administrators and anti-poaching unit members, all of whom are physically and emotionally involved in endangered rhino protection and in preventing their violent death for the illegal intercontinental rhino horn trade.
Dr Kate Marx
Kate Marx is currently a strategic communications manager for WWF, having previously overseen campaigns and social research for water conservation NGO, Waterwise. She graduated with a PhD in Anthrozoology from the University of Exeter in 2018, after which she joined the EASE (Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics) group for a year, where she was part of the 'Rhino People' research team. Kate lives in Surrey with her rescue dog, Honey.
Dr Andrew Mitchell
Andrew’s key research interests lie in the areas of human-animal relations, science and technology studies, archaeology and material and visual culture. Having worked in the British film industry as a director of photography, camera operator and stills photographer for many years, Andrew uses visual methods as part of his research practice and is also the founding Director of the Visual Lab at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, where he teaches several courses.
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