Annemi Conradie-Chetty Participates in SASEP Inaugural Conference

Published 18 March 2024 in News

Southern African Society of Environmental Philosophy (SASEP)

Southern African Society of Environmental Philosophy (SASEP) Inaugural Conference

Nombolo Mdhluli Conference Centre

Skukuza camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa

22 -24 March 2024

Thanks to a generous grant for the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, alongside the School of Philosophy and the Institute for Contemporary Ethics ( at the North-West University, we are able to establish the Southern African Society of Environmental Philosophy (SASEP) and host an inaugural conference. 

SASEP hopes to bring philosophers and others from tangential fields (e.g. such as environmental and animal law, conservation, environmental management) together to consider issues related broadly to the environment and its inhabitants. Furthermore, SASEP, and its associated conferences, will provide space for established and emerging environmental philosophers from Southern Africa and beyond to share their research and exchange ideas that focus on all aspects of the environment from  philosophical perspectives. The society will welcome a diverse range of philosophical approaches, and also encourage interdisciplinary dialogue with those from nascent academic disciplines, such as the environmental sciences, social sciences, and others.

Rationale for the venue: The choice of venue is not accidental. National Parks in South Africa were created to preserve (and later conserve) wildlife, however, these parks forcibly removed Africans who had, for generations, lived on the land. While this is something to be condemned, it is also the case that these parks are extremely important as conservation spaces. In a changing world that is increasingly populated and constructed, for many species these spaces represent the only places where they can live relatively intact lives. The Kruger National Park, therefore, provides a conducive, interesting, and contentious backdrop to consider issues relating to environmental philosophy.

Theme: All aspects of environmental philosophy are welcomed, including environmental and animal ethics. The following are guiding questions but they should not serve as  a limitation.

  • How can we critically reflect on humanity’s relationship to nature?
  • How do we conceive of nature from a broadly African perspective?
  • How can we decolonise conservation?
  • What kinds of contributions can philosophers make to addressing the environmental crisis?
  • What does an African Environmental Philosophy look like?
  • How can we philosophise around climate change from an African view?
  • How can laws aid/negate human-animal relationships?

This project is generously supported by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Annemi Conradie-Chetty l 'Punching Holes' (Detail) l 2024 l Paper, thread & ribbon l +- 2m

"I found a 1970 publication 'the Kruger Park and other National Parks', with foreword by former Prime Minister John Vorster, in a junkshop. Vorster's foreword is what you would expect from a NP prime minister of the apartheid state and it is easy to punch holes in Vorster's rhetoric about the Kruger, the land and the volk. But what then? 

To find out, I punched the book full of holes and turned the writing into thread and ribbons. The challenge now is to build something different and new, all the while working with a past that is impossible to ignore or scrap. More recent brochures add shiny, bright ribbons and patches, vivid contrasts to the older photographs of grainy black and white or washed out colour.

The process and work that ensued will come together for, and at, the inaugural conference of Southern African Society of Environmental Philosophy (SASEP) in March, 2024, where conference delegates will join me in working with the pages, shreds and confetti of the book and use the practice of making as alternative way of thinking through the challenges posed by decolonising our thinking about the natural environment and its conservation."

For more information about the Conference please navigate to the Southern African Society of Environmental Philosophy (SASEP) website here