I am an anthropologist interested in the social worlds of humans and other animals. My early work led me to Harar, Ethiopia, where I spent 15 months among a population of 100,000 people and 200 spotted hyenas who coexist relatively peacefully. Currently I’m interested in relations between large carnivores, farmers, and their livestock. This is taking me to two different fieldsites – Australia and Ethiopia – where I’m looking at the ways that pastoralists, livestock animals, and large carnivores navigate complex relationships which in evolutionary terms are quite novel. What will emerge from this research? I have no idea. All I can guarantee is that there will be mistakes and beer.
Marcus – my partner and I are intending to head to Harar late in the year from Australia, following the 1962 footsteps of Australian artist Sidney Nolan – his hyena experiences and one of the paintings from the city matches one of your photographs beautifully – I am in the process of pulling together a history of his African Journey. Are you still in the walled city? A relatively safe locale (as far as Africa can be)? – Andrew
Hey, I never knew Sidney Nolan had been to Harar, though I’m aware of the hyena painting. Thanks for sharing that.
I’m not in Harar at the moment so I don’t know how safe it is… or isn’t. There have been some protests in the Oromia region and some were quite close to Harar. Best to check the news reports.