Jenna Watt & Sam Staddon
In 2019, seeking to better understand the reality of rewilding, and the thinking behind it, Jenna Watt took part in the stalking of a hind in the Highlands. Her book Hindsight tells the story of this day, interweaving family history and enquiries into the rewilding movement, asking essential questions about what ‘wildness’ means.
For the final event of a festival that’s revolved largely around place and our relationships to them, we’re delighted to host a conversation about the most basics of any place: the land itself, and who among us is free to inhabit it, to live off it, and to make decisions about it. Who among us, even, has the power to determine what ‘wildness’ is.
Our speaker and chair:
Jenna Watt is a multi-award-winning theatre maker. In 2016, her award-winning Edinburgh Fringe play Faslane was published by Oberon books, now Methuen Drama, which led to her presenting Nukes, Subs and Secrets, a piece of factual television with Hopscotch productions for BBC Scotland. In 2017, she undertook an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development with the University of Highlands and Islands. Since graduating, she became the recipient of Magnetic North Theatre’s Artist Attachment for 18 months, where she continued to develop her understanding of performative approaches to ecofeminism, rewilding and land management practices in Scotland.
Sam Staddon is a feminist political ecologist committed to environmental and social justice. She is a Senior Lecturer in Environment and Development at the University of Edinburgh, where she engages with amazing students whilst helping to run the MSc in Environment and Development. Her research explores the social relations involved in conservation and the politics of environment and development initiatives. Sam is currently working through participatory action research with forestry professionals in Nepal to collectively and critically reflect on issues of social justice. Having trained in ecology and worked in conservation around the world for 10 years before returning to academia to complete a PhD, Sam is committed to building meaningful relationships with practitioners; one example of this is the Edinburgh Environment & Development Network. Sam has written a number of papers on conservation in the UK, including 'Conservation's All about Having a Blether and Getting People on Board: Exploring Cooperation for Conservation in Scotland' and 'The value of listening and listening for values in conservation'.