Sabine Luning is an anthropologist with a research interest in economic anthropology and issues of sustainability. In the past, she has worked in development projects and ever since she has retained an interest in the social relations, power dynamics and organizational culture of development initiatives. For the past 10 years, she has been working on social aspects of large-scale and small-scale gold mining foremost in Burkina Faso, but also in Ghana, Suriname, French Guyana and Canada. She is interested in the effects of global connections on local situations, e.g. the dynamics around industrial mines of Transnational Companies operating in West Africa.
Current research project
She is currently focusing on Landscapes of Extraction, with a particular interest in how mining affects water quality and distribution in West Africa. She is collaborating with modellers (e.g. hydrologists and mining engineers), visual anthropologists, artists, and photographers to combine different methods of visualizing landscape dynamics. In the Field Research and Training (FR&T) programme in Ghana, she is working together with Mark Westmoreland on the use of photography, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) aerial photography (with kites) and 360° spherical video. Together with people who live and work in different local areas, we co-produce images on the ground, underground and from the air in order to engage in sustainability conversations. The coming years these methods and collaborations will be developed further in the NORFACE project: Sustainability Transformations in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining: A Multi-Actor and Trans-Regional Perspective (ST-ASGM).