I-SEE Seminar presented by Dr Roy Maconachie, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath.
Diamond mining is Sierra Leone’s most lucrative export industry, with annual production of up to $US 250 million. But due to poor governance and widespread revenue mismanagement, only a fraction of this wealth returns to the areas where diamonds are mined. While international traders reap vast rewards, for those in the mining pits, poverty and hardship remain. In exploring the challenges of harnessing diamonds for development in poor communities.
The seminar will feature the screening of a new 33-minute documentary film: ‘Voices from the mine’ by Dr Roy Maconachie from the University of Bath’s Centre for Development Studies and Mr Simon Wharf of the Audio Visual Unit.
Based on two years of fieldwork in Kono District in Sierra Leone, the film follows the pathway of artisanal diamonds from mine to market, offers insiders’ perspectives of the challenges of formalising the sector, and explores why exploitation continues to persist at the bottom of the chain.
Following the screening, there will be an opportunity for an open discussion and Q&A, centring on the issues raised in the seminar.
Dr Roy Maconachie's research in Sub-Saharan Africa explores the social, political and economic aspects of food production and natural resource management, and their relationships to wider societal change. Much of his recent work has had a particular focus on the extractive industries, livelihood change and social conflict in West Africa. He has been undertaking field-based research in Sierra Leone for over 15 years and has spent much of this time working with artisanal diamond miners. Prior to becoming an academic, Roy worked as a documentary photographer, carrying out a number of projects in African countries. He is passionate about using film in his academic research, both as a participatory method of data collection and as a vehicle to share his work more widely with non-academic audiences.
Who should attend
Businesses, general public, University of Bath academics, students and staff.
A hearing loop is provided in the lecture theatre. Lift access from the ground floor of 8 West Building to the third floor 3.22 lecture theatre.