In June 2023, a delegation from UNC Geography traveled to London, United Kingdom, to conduct the workshop “Researching the Global South: Exploring the Conceptual and Methodological Challenges of Global South Research” in partnership with colleagues from King’s College London. The UNC delegation included Geography doctoral students Andreina Malki, Ingrid Diaz, Adrienne Hall, Sara Ghebremicael, and Devon Maloney and faculty member Dr. Javier Arce-Nazario. KCL representatives included doctoral students Daniel Benson, Sarai Kirshner, Zenzo Sibanda, Caroline Tissot and Xinyi Yin from across various departments, and Geography Professors Clare Herrick, Zahratu Shabrina, Kate Schreckenberg, Aiko Ikemura Amaral, Faith Taylor, Sara Black and Christoffer Guldberg. The workshop started with research presentations by faculty members from both institutions, where Dr. Arce-Nazario presented on his recent work on the cartographies of Vieques, Puerto Rico, a former naval test site. Dr. Ikemura Amaral discussed how her work in urban peripheries in Brazil adapted to smart phone platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Taylor presented on her innovative qualitative GIS approaches to mapping natural hazards and community resiliency in Nairobi, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa. Finally, Dr. Shabrina discussed her work in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of the Colouring Cities project, a crowd-sourced, building-level geospatial data initiative focused on mapping urban spaces.This was followed by a discussion session on the scope, usefulness, and limitations of the “Global South” as a theoretical and methodological category, where participants discussed the contradictions and potentialities of using this concept. The workshop also included peer review sessions where UNC and KCL graduate students provided peer-to-peer feedback on manuscripts addressing the theme of the workshop and discussed innovative and critical perspectives on studying the Global South building on each participant’s research experience. The workshop ended with a session exploring possibilities for future collaboration led by Professor Herrick The UNC delegation also visited two art installations on themes of mapping, cartography, and the Global South, which were powerful and generative complements to the workshop. First, they visited the Prime Meridian Line at the Greenwich Observatory and the National Maritime Museum which is currently hosting The World Reimagined, an outdoor art installation of 36 globes by various artists responding to the transatlantic slave trade and alternative imaginaries. The project aims to take the viewer “on a journey of discovery, exploring themes including slavery and emancipation, racial justice, community and hopeful visions for the future” (pictures 3 and 4). Finally, some of the delegation attended an exhibit by Sonia E. Barrett, a Black woman artist and member of the Map-lective. Her installation included a map from the Royal Geographical Society of London which was shredded and then braided or dread-locked, incorporating “techniques of personal care embedded in black communities and use[ing] them to deal with maps,” as described on the Map-letive website. The workshop and related activities were an excellent opportunity for UNC Geography to connect with colleagues at KCL and generate future collaboration. UNC Geography thanks our KCL hosts and looks forward to continued engagement on our shared interests. We hope to host you at UNC soon! Links to programs and exhibitions mentioned above: -Colouring Cities: https://www.turing.ac.uk/research/research-projects/colouring-london-and-colouring-cities-research-programme -The World Reimagined: https://www.theworldreimagined.org/ -Sonia E. Barrett: https://www.instagram.com/soniaelizabethbarrett/ -Map-Lective: https://www.map-lective.com/
The UNC delegation outside King’s College London
UNC delegation visited the Map-lective exhibit, coordinated by visual artist Sonia E Barret (right).