Elsemi Olwage

Elsemi was born in Namibia in 1986. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Environment and Development Studies at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 2009, majoring in Social Anthropology and Public Development Management.

In 2010 she moved to the University of Cape Town where she did her Honours degree, followed by the completion of her Masters of Arts (MA) in Social Anthropology in 2013. Her Honours research looked at the ambiguous role of the past in navigating everyday social realities and re-imagining futures on a San resettlement farm in Namibia. For her Masters dissertation she explored the role of urban nature conservation practices, particularly that of biodiversity conservation, in the continual making of urban environmental heritages within post-apartheid and post-colonial Cape Town. The dissertation focused on the knowledge politics at the intersection of science, the state and the "public" - a public still strongly marked by racialized segregation and starkly unequal urban lived-realities - in the contestation over what to conserve, for whom and through which practices.

Her research interests include environmental and political anthropology, gender, political ecology, memory and heritage studies and questions of subjectivity and selfhood.

Elsemi will be conducting ethnographic research for her PhD on communal water management within the Otwani research area for 12 to 15 months from October 2014 onwards."




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