I got to work with the Environmental Artist/Activist Dr. Jennifer (Jenny) Price of the LA Urban Rangers in designing environmental workshops for the students of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges during the year 2011-2012.
The first time I got to work with her was during Fall 2010 when I was co-teaching a class on ‘Introduction to Environmental Anthropology’ with biologist Prof. Jonathan Wilson in my capacity as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College. Prof. Wilson and I collaborated with several faculty members of the Bryn Mawr college to engage students from both the Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges in designing Environmental Action Art projects on Bryn Mawr College campus, under the guidance of Dr. Price. The students were given a day and a half to come with ideas of art action enactments with environmental messages. As a result, we came to witness a variety of art actions that ranged from forming a ‘food pie’ with an actual pie depicting food waste, having a public park(ing) day where students enacted several ‘relaxation activities’ like ‘sun – bathing’ on a campus parking lot, to creating a public water tasting lab where we did blind tasting of water from several sources and voted on them. Here are some of the photographs from those events:
I worked with Prof. Ellen Stroud – the Chair of Environmental Studies of Bryn Mawr College – to bring back Dr. Price again to the Tri-Colleges (Haverford-Bryn Mawr-Swarthmore Colleges) campuses during Spring 2012. During this time I actively incorporated several of Dr. Prices’ articles and her book Flight Maps with both my courses on ‘Introduction to Environmental Anthropology’ and ‘Politics of Biodiversity Conservation.’ Students got to work closely with Dr. Price in designing ‘campus tours’ that highlighted new perspectives on viewing nature in unexpected places. The students were inspired by Dr. Prices’ article called Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in LA.
I also worked with Dr. Price in organizing an environmental workshop with students of the Tri-College Community to brain storm about different ways in which students can bring about effective art action events on pertinent environmental issues such as putting pressure on college administration to divest from financial institutions that invest in fossil fuels.