Lecture: How the Communist Past Troubled Relationships between Foresters and Biologists

Between 1995 and 2017, a Lithuanian – American Anthropologist, Eunice Blavascunas visited and lived in the Białowieża Forest region interacting with foresters, biologists, ecological activists and locals. This time period saw seismic shifts in identity as individuals tried to reform society after the fall of communism.

How did these people refer to and understand the communist past as a factor in utilitarian use of the forest and the conservation ethic that gained steam after 1989, when a strong nature protection movement challenged foresters’ management practices. Blavascunas tells this story as an outcome of personal and often painful alliances she made in order to do ethnographic research in this location.