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Re-imagining threatened African forestscapes at Pugu Hills, Dar es Salaam

Lethabo Mathabathe



Dr. Finzi Saidi, Jabu Absalom Makhubu, Dickson Adu Agyei, Mandy Schindler, Prof Antonio Tomas


15 X- Remembering public Space


My project re-imagines a threatened African forest landscape, forestscape, in order to explore and imagine new landscapes that may emerge from it. It will produce speculative images and illustrations of Pugu Hills Forest, which privilege the needs and meanings of the local people through the production of Dialogic Drawings (Dee: 2004) that describe new processes, functions, and maintenance of the forest.

I place local people at the centre of stewardship of the forest, rather than considering them a threat. I hope to draw attention to possible new roles of urban forests by imagining a new ecologically and culturally diverse local community, and to create new awareness around the conservation of forest landscapes that incorporate community-based involvement in the process.

In creating visual narratives as illustrative dialogic tools for community participation for protecting vulnerable African forest landscapes, this will help to clarify people’s roles in forest conservation, climate change and global warming.

Through my work, I seek to provoke and start conservations and change the narrative of African urban forests by creating imaginative approaches and speaking directly to community needs in conjunction with responsive ecology and conservation concepts.