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Mossi forecasts: reading weather in Burkina Faso

How can we achieve co-production of indigenous and scientific knowledge about weather and climate to strengthen people’s resilience to climate change?

Mossi forecasts1Climate change demands that science and technology increase their reach and relevance in order to help us prepare for greater weather extremes and shocks. Rural households in Burkina Faso are subject to the most immediate and dramatic effects of climate change, meaning that accurate and usable climate information is essential to protect their crops and livelihoods. But whilst scientists attempt to translate and communicate technical weather jargon to remote localities, what about the knowledge and expertise already held within these rural households?

Combining rigorous research with an artistic documentary approach, this project will gather personal testimonies and first-hand evidence of the indigenous ways of knowing that these farming households possess. With the aim of encouraging a co-production of indigenous and scientific knowledge to tackle climate extremes, these intimate accounts will provide a tangible understanding of what it means to interpret the weather and changes in climate using tools provided by nature itself.

The project team have written a blog about their time spent filming and researching in Burkina Faso for the Geography Department at King's which can be read here

Project team

Frances Crowley - joint academic lead

Frances Crowley is a Researcher in King’s Geography Department whose interests lie in social ecological systems, transformation and the role of embodied practice and indigenous knowledge in addressing climate change. Whilst based in the social sciences, her research also draws on performance theory, artistic research and practice, and ecopsychology.

Camilla Audia - joint academic lead

Camilla Audia is a Postdoc Researcher also in the Geography Department at King’s. Her foci are rural resilience, co-production of knowledge and natural resource management. She grew up in Burkina Faso, speaks French and loves Burkinabe horses. She completed her PhD (on land tenure issues) at SOAS. She is excited about new and innovative ways of validating, promoting and communicating research outputs, including visual arts and design for development.

Camilla and Frances have both worked as researchers at King’s for the BRACED – Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters – DfID funded programme in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso and currently are researchers on the NERC Innovation Placement grant on indigenous knowledge and consensus forecasts, which led to this Arts in Society collaboration. 

Maeve Brennan - artistic lead

Maeve Brennan is an artist based in London and currently resident of Somerset House Studios. She works with moving image and installation to explore the political and historical resonance of material and place. Recent solo exhibitions include The Drift at Chisenhale Gallery, London; Spike Island Bristol and The Whitworth, University of Manchester (all 2017) and Jerusalem Pink, OUTPOST, Norwich (2016). She was educated at Goldsmiths, University of London and was a fellow of the Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut (2013-14). She is a co-founder of Sharna Pax, a film collective working between the fields of visual art, anthropology and documentary. She was the recipient of the Jerwood/FVU Award 2018.

Mossi forecasts: reading weather in Burkina Faso is a collaboration between King's College London's Department of Geography and artist Maeve Brennan, brokered and supported by the Cultural Institute at King’s in partnership with Somerset House Studios.

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