Processes of Dispossession, the Imminent Collapse of Tunisian Oases (and what can we do about it)

Friday, May 03, 2024, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
CMES, Room 102
38 Kirkland St.
Tunisia is one of the leading countries in date exports, especially of the 'Deglet Nour' variety, and Nefzawa, in the Kebili governorate, is the primary date-producing region. This stems from a national policy, dating back to French colonization and expanded post-independence, focusing on the intensive monoculture of that cultivar. Despite enduring for millennia, it is acknowledged that without voluntary action, Tunisian oasis ecosystems face imminent collapse.

This lecture examines the challenges facing oasis agro-ecosystems in Tunisia's Nefzawa region, focusing on the impact of historical, environmental, and socio-economic factors. It highlights the unsustainable exploitation of resources, exacerbated by climate change and state interventions, revealing the processes of dispossession and the inadequacies of current governance structures.

Ultimately, it discusses pathways for adaptation amid the looming threat of collapse by exploring the role of design in envisioning alternative economic landscapes for a socially and ecologically sustainable future in the region, through the remembrance and revision of ancient oasis commoning practices.


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