INTERNATIONAL PERMACULTURE CONVERGENCE LONDON 2015: CAN YOU HELP ME GET THERE? The London International Permaculture Conference and Convergence 2015 are beckoning! I am calling out for assistance to get there from South Africa as part of a PhD in social anthropology and as a participant of the South African permaculture community. Travelling on South African currency in the UK is extremely challenging, because it is one of the most expensive countries in the world. There are various costs - flights (R7000) , visa (R2000), travel insurance (R1000), internal transport, lodging and food, accommodation (about R2000) and the conference fees (R6000), a total of R20000 (1000 pounds/2000 US dollars/1400 Euro) for the ten days of the conference and convergence. I pledge to share at that conference and convergence insights on the South African movement, and return to write about the conference proceedings to share these with the South African community of permacultivators. I will be able to give daily updates on Twitter as the proceedings unfold, and give more in-depth reports on my website. I will be filming the proceedings and adding these to a documentary that I am creating about the permaculture movement in South Africa and beyond. If you would like to help me get there, please see the details below. Every penny will help. If you wish to make any specific suggestions or requests, or have any questions please email me on [email protected] For more information, please see a longer brief below. FACEBOOK: ELIZABETH PERMACULTIVATOR KRUGER WEBSITE: thinkingpermaculture.wordpress.com
The London International Permaculture Convergence 2015 is beckoning! I am calling out for assistance to get there from South Africa as part of a PhD in social anthropology and as a member of the South African permaculture community. I pledge to share at that conference
insights on the South African movement, and return to write about the conference proceedings to share these with the South African community of permacultivators.
My first encounter with permaculture was through my older sister, Alex Kruger, who trained at Fambidzanai in Zimbabwe, and enthusiastically wrote for the local ‘Permaculture Villager’. Soon after I finished school, in 2000 I took a permaculture design course at the Kommetjie Environmental Action Group where I volunteered in the seed production garden afterwards. This inspired me to help at Finca Isla del Cielo, now the Firestone Restoration Ecology Center in Costa Rica, a permaculture bamboo and forest regeneration farm at the time. After 6 months learning about permaculture practice there, I returned home to South Africa to commence my studies in social anthropology and environmental and geographic sciences at the University of Cape Town, which led me over the next 11 years to teach modules in environmental and public anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch. Between periods of study, I supported myself through work as a waitress, in the local film industry as an assistant and driver, and in art classes, and maintained studies into yoga and therapeutic bodywork. Having strayed from permaculture, I took a refresher permaculture design course in 2011 at Berg-en-Dal and a two week practical internship.
With this background, I embarked on fieldwork for a PhD in anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, with a scholarship from the Global Change and Sustainability Research Centre in 2013, supported by the Carnegie Foundation.
This research is documenting the development of the permaculture movement in South Africa, with two sites in the Western Cape province in South Africa as the focal points for understanding the movement’s historical development and its current permutations. My particular interest is in permaculture as one of an array of emerging global eco-social movements seeking solutions to the current environmental, social and economic challenges facing our globalised societies in the face of natural resource depletion, climate change and global inequality. These two organisations are SEED, an urban-based educational Non-Profit Organisation in Cape Town, and the KKSDP, a rural training-oriented Non-Profit Company located in the Karoo. By looking at these two sites, I am trying to understand how people put permaculture into practice, and also access the broader permaculture networks within South Africa and beyond. The purpose of the research is to explore some of the offerings that the permaculture approach has for creating more sustainable societies, as well as the challenges of doing that in the context of a developing country such as South Africa. In the process, I hope to document the networks and to provide an academically informed perspective on the movement which I hope will be useful both in academia, to the network of permaculture practitioners and more broadly to the people who would like to learn more about sustainability and sustainable models of living.
Given my personal and professional interest in the permaculture movement, and my involvement in the South African networks, I feel my participation in the forthcoming International Permaculture Conference and Convergence is critical. I have submitted an abstract for an oral presentation at the conference dealing with the potential benefit of closer collaboration between the worlds of permaculture and academia, looking at how the two could be mutually beneficial. Because the conference and convergence are both in the UK, with one of the most highly valued currencies, it is a particularly challenging place to attend a conference as a citizen of a developing country. I am looking for support to attend these gatherings in September 2015, and it is for this reason that I am sending out this plea for support assistance for travel, visa, registration fees and board and lodging for the duration of the conference and convergence. With this experience I believe that I can contribute to expanding local perspectives on permaculture through my involvement at the Garden Route Permaculture Festival and local Cape Town gatherings, as well as a connection with two prominent organiations in the South Africa that are guided by permaculture. I also hope to share my experiences and insights with the international permaculture network and in the process share and learn our various lessons and experiences in creating a more sustainable future. I plan to report back on conference and convergence proceedings on a daily basis via online platforms such as twitter and facebook, and in the longer term and in greater depth through my website. I am also enthusiastic to write more broadly for a public audience in magazines or newspapers, as well as field any enquiries about the experience and participation. For these reasons I making this request for help to get me to the IPCUK in London and Essex from 6-16 September this year. If this work sounds worthwhile and valuable in our search for viable sustainable alternatives and their growth and communication in South African and beyond, please feel free to make a donation. Including flight, visa, conference fees and internal travel, I am aiming for R20 000 ZAR (2000 US dollars/1000 UK pounds/1400 Euro). Every penny will help. If you wish to make any specific suggestions or requests, or have any questions please email me on [email protected]