(MDSSA) Life of Fire: An Ethnography of Smoke, Flame, Ash, and Earth
Life of Fire: An Ethnography of Smoke, Flame, Ash, and Earth is a micro-project undertaken Amy Mazowita as part of the “Mobilizing disability survival skills for the urgencies of the Anthropocene” (MDSSA) Project funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant (PI, Arseli Dokumaci).
Life of Fire: An Ethnography of Smoke, Flame, Ash, and Earth documents the fire affected landscapes of Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park (Treaty 3). Inspired by the damages inflicted by the 2021 forest fire season, this project is interested in how uncontrolled fire activity contributes towards various shifts in environmental composition. These shifts—which result from both natural and human-induced beginnings—relate to and include the charring of old-growth forests, the appearance of new vegetation and fungal growth, and the destruction of animal and insect habitats. Through a sustained research-creation photo series, Life of Fire will trace the 2023 forest fire season by photographing active fires as well as the resulting changes to the affected and surrounding landscapes. In so doing, the researcher aims to explore questions related to land, relationships, access, and environment.