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Beekeeping in the End Times (Lecture)

When: Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: Room 3.20, ArtsTwo Building, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS


Dr Larisa Jasarevic’s Lecture is part of the IHSS Environmental Futures Research Programme talk series.

“If you saw the world ending, how would you know?” This question opens up a documentary film entitled Beekeeping in the End Times. The film, still in post-production, is a result of a seven-year long ethnographic research project on climate change effects upon honeybees and their partner plants and humans in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Subject of a forthcoming book by the same name, the research presents a case of a small-scale beekeeping in ecologies that are largely spared the major pressures on modern honeybees, such as pesticides, industrial agriculture, and loss of habitat. And yet, a range of profound and surprising changes in local honey ecologies are bringing local bees on the verge of unsustainability. The talk will convey the nature and felt quality of the ecological changes, which are often too subtle for lay observers to notice and have not been studied enough by climate biologists. To appreciate the implications of the quiet disaster that the film and the book are depicting, the talk proposes, we need to take into account not just the precious, ground-level observations of climate change effects but also alternate meanings of the beings and the world at stake. The opening questions arises from this proposition and is a preface to the critical and soul-searching task of asking ‘what is to be done?’

About the Speaker

Dr Larisa Jasarevic is an independent scholar. An anthropologist, she has been conducting field research on local apicultures, honeybee ecologies in changing climates, and Islamic eschatology in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 2014. Her second book, Beekeeping in the End Times (IUP) is in preparation. She taught for a decade at the University of Chicago. Currently, she is engaged in ethnographic filmmaking while beekeeping and homesteading on the side.

About the Event

All are welcome to join, but please register via Eventbrite.

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