Environmental Humanities Dissertation Research

A project by: Beth Rhodes

pledged of £5,000 target

This project did not reach its target.

Completion Date: Sun 01 Jul 2018
Live Green and Prosper

Short Summery of Project:

I am currently raising funds in order to be able to carry out some field research in Peru. I am researching Inca culture, and their belief in Pacha-mama, in relation to the way present day society views its ethical responsibility to the environment. My goal is to demonstrate that a slight change in societies ontological understanding of nature would have a positive outcome regarding the environmental crisis the planet is currently facing. My research would greatly benefit from the opportunity to visit sacred Inca sites and conduct interviews with the people living in the area surrounding Cuzco.

Who Am I?

I am a second year MA student, studying Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University. I have a background in Study of Religions and Philosophy and Ethics. My current research is based around environmental ethics and indigenous cultures and ontology.

I will be working with freelance photographer and documentary maker Matthew Travis. Matt will be accompanying me, documenting my research process and filming my interviews.

My Story:

The planets delicate ecosystem is something that all species, both human and non human depend on for survival. Due to the environmental crisis, it is being lost at an alarming rate. This is an opportunity to help support a cause dedicated to preserving it.

A large part of my dissertation is exploring whether humanity can develop a low impact way of living by adopting a change of ethical mindset. On a recent trip to Cuzco, in Peru, it was explained to me that some of the residents of the city were claiming back their Inca heritage, revisiting the idea of Pacha-mama, whilst still living a developing and progressive lifestyle. The result of this was that some of the cities younger residents were looking for positive environmental change, and a low impact way of living. With the use of field research and first hand data collection I want to answer the question; can we live a low impact lifestyle, by removing the metaphorical barrier between humans and nature.

The money donated will enable me to go back to Cuzco and conduct valuable, first hand research that will be of significant value to this hypothesis.

Upon returning from Peru, I will be compiling this data into my masters dissertation. Further to this, I will be working towards an exhibition, to be displayed in central Bath. The aim of this exhibition will be to visually demonstrate the message of my dissertation, through the use of photographs.

Where Will The Money Go?

If I hit my minimum target, I will be able to travel to Cuzco. Whilst there I will be able to   interview some local people, visit some Inca ruins and gain a better understanding of the cultural link between Inca ontology and current environmental ethics.

If I were to raise my full target, I would be able to carry out my research in the Andes. The money would cover the costs of hiring a local guide, who would also act as a translator for the local people. I would also be able to hire a local guide to take us into an area of the Amazon Jungle. Manu, is an area of the amazon, where a local community are working to preserve the biodiversity. It would be my intention to interview the local people, inorder to compare the data collected in the jungle, to the data collected in the mountains. Money would go towards local transport and payments for guides and the people willing to be included in my study.

If the full target were to be reached, the costs of printing for the photography exhibition will also be covered. I will update my progress frequently via social media.


With every donation of:

£20.00 - I will thank you via social media.

£50.00 - I will thank you via social media, and you will receive a postcard from Cuzco upon my arrival there.

£75.00 - Your name or company logo appear in my dissertation acknowledgements - to say thank you for making my research possible.

£100.00 - You will receive a handwritten invitation to the opening event of the exhibition, in order for me to be able to personally and publicly thank you for the contribution to making my research a success. I will also present you with a souvenir from Peru, chosen by me to proudly display in your home or your office.

Find Us Here:

Follow me on Instagram: @live_green_and_prosper

Follow me on Facebook: bethrhodes.EH

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