The Nordic Africa Institute


Gold Matters. Exploring transformations to sustainability in artisanal and small-scale gold mining

Started • 01 October 2018

The Gold Matters project involves a transdisciplinary group of researchers, but also artists and civil society activists, who look at the development of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) across the world, and its implications for sustainability.

ASGM is an expanding and increasingly vital form of livelihood for millions of people in the global South, but it is often associated to negative social and environmental impacts. Adopting a transformative approach to sustainability as an opportunity to investigate in the possible futures of ASGM, the Gold Matters project concentrates on the ongoing processes of change in the sector: change is investigated in relation to patterns of mobility, socio-technical systems of production, legal/political contexts and trajectories of (in)formalization, institutional mechanisms of adaptation to - or prevention of - resource depletion.

By approaching sustainability from multiple angles and promoting the collaborative production ("co-labouring") of knowledge between academics, artists and miners, the projects aims to incorporate voices that are often excluded from mainstream debates: those of miners, their communities and other actors affected by mining activities.

The project focuses on three geographical regions: Latin America (Brazil, Suriname), West Africa (Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Ghana) and East Africa (Uganda).

Gold Matters is an international research project involving participants based in different countries (Brazil, Burkina Faso, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Uganda).

It is financially supported by the Belmont Forum and NORFACE joint research program on 'Transformations to Sustainability', which is co-funded by several national funding institutions (for Sweden, VR) and by the European Commission through Horizon 2020.

Principal investigator (Swedish unit): Cristiano Lanzano

Start date: October 2018. Total duration: three years.

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