Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology - Under the surface of the Ever-Given drama: Migrant ecologies as an afterlife of the Suez Canal with Karin Ahlberg

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Zoom link
  • Lecturer: Karin Ahlberg, Senior Lecturer at Department of Social Anthropology at University of Oslo
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Contact person: Mats Utas
  • Seminarium

Under the surface of megatankers and shipping, a mass migration is taking place through the Suez Canal. Over time and as a result of both natural change and engineering projects, the Suez Canal has turned into a global highway for sea creature.

Since its opening, more than 350 tropical marine species with roots in the Indian Ocean or the Red Sea have travelled north through the passageway and settled in the Mediterranean Sea. These newcomers have significantly changed Mediterranean sealife and cultures, and their impact will only increase with global warming, damaged ecosystem and the recent widening of the canal. In this talk, I discuss my new research project that explores different afterlives of the Suez Canal. I will outline the larger project to then focus on a range of marine creatures that came with the merging seas. How can parrotfish, prawns and crabs help us scale the afterlife of massive interventions in changing environments? And what can pufferfish and jellyfish teach us about surviving in anthropogenically altered landscapes?


Short bio:
Karin Ahlberg works as Senior Lecturer at Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo. Her research focuses on Egypt and the Middle East. Her previous work explores entanglements between politics of tourism, image making and nationhood in Egypt from 1990 to the years marked by crisis and uncertainty following the 2011 popular uprisings. Her new research turns to afterlives of the Suez Canal, as a way of crafting new stories about Egypt and the Middle East from oceanic, post-imperial and more-than-human perspectives.