Disturbing Conservation: Remapping the Avencas MPA
Dani Admiss and Gillian Russell
In ecological conservation, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are legally designated habitats designed to regulate a tidal territory for the long-term conservation of nature. They protect wildlife at the same time they are entangled with issues of species hierarchy, conflicts with aquaculture, infrastructure, governance and more. The decisions made about the management and protection of marine environments are not in themselves neutral acts but are bound to societal values and wider sociocultural-economic systems.
Disturbing Conservation: remapping the Avencas MPA is a co-composed, multi-scalar map of the Avencas Marine Protected Area, in Parede, Cascais, district of Lisbon. This map reimagines MPAs in this expanded sense, not just as physical sites for ecological recovery but also as the object of a social challenge. The project draws together a cross-disciplinary research group to remap the Avencas. Juridical proceedings, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) readings and queer food webs become the basis of a cultural inquiry that results in a public symposia and cartographic display. Focused on raising the silent worldings of the site, Disturbing Conservation seeks to articulate the absent concerns and tangled complexities that produce the contemporary space of the Avencas so that we may better care with an MPA.
Dani Admiss and Gillian Russell are feminist technoscience designers, curators and researchers.