New podcast: Emilka Skrzypek on the Frieda Mine in Papua New Guinea

I’m excited to announce the my interview with Emilka Skrzypek is now available over at New Books Network. Emilka is a third- (or maybe fourth-?) generation scholar in the anthropology of mining in Papua New Guinea, and studies the Frieda River Mine, which doesn’t yet exist. How does one do an ethnography of a mine which hasn’t been built, but which is still making changes in the local communities which anticipate its coming? Or, rather, how do you a study of a mine which (as Paiyamo people might put it) exists in the sense that it is having an effect on people’s lives, but is still ‘invisible’ in that it hasn’t been built? Take a listen! As an anthropologist of mining of a slightly older generation *cough* it is great to see more work on this topic being produced.

Elizabeth and Stephen Ferry on Gold Mining in Latin America

I’m happy to announce a new podcast episode over at New Books Network. In this episode I interview brother and sister teams Elizabeth and Stephen Ferry. Elizabeth is an anthropologist and Stephen is a photographer, and together they’ve produced La Battea, a book which combines text, images, and design to tell the story of small-scale miners in Colombia in a unique and powerful way. When I say ‘design’ I mean it: the book is physically designed to pull the reader into the topic. Cardboard covers, a specially-chosen paper, and carefully designed chosen fonts provide a unique experience which is topped off by the small piece of gold embedded in the cover.

In this episode of the podcast, I talk with Stephen and Elizabeth Ferry about the design, photography, and text of this book. They also talk about the Kickstarter they ran to create the book, and their decision to produce both Spanish and English language versions that were affordable for local communities. Other questions include: What is it like to write a book with your sibling? How elemental a human experience is mining? I think this is a good one so I hope you will check it out.