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June 2024

The Southern Buffalo Fence: A Short Film By Wisse van Engelen

The Southern Buffalo Fence: A Short Film By Wisse van Engelen

Wisse van Engelen is a researcher in the European Research Council funded Rewilding the Anthropocene Project. Principal Investigator of the project is “Sharing a Planet in Peril” (SAPP) member Michael Bollig.

As part of his PhD project, Wisse van Engelen made a short film about a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) control intervention that shows its entanglement with humans and wildlife. Disease transmission is an often overlooked form of human-wildlife conflict, yet animal diseases and veterinary interventions often mediate human-wildlife relations.

The Southern Buffalo Fence zooms in on one of the four ‘buffalo fences’ in Botswana that aim to separate buffalo and livestock. Built at the edge of the Okavango delta, this fence is designed to protect neighbouring communities from incursions by African buffaloes – an inhabitant of the delta and maintenance host of FMD.

The short film centres on the accounts of two veterinary officials and a farmer, who tell the story of why the fence was built and what has happened to it since. They describe the challenges the fence currently faces and explain what is at stake.

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Noah Kahindi

Global South Studies Center (GSSC)
Classen-Kappelmann-Straße 24
50931 Cologne, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)221 47076657

E-mail: noah.kahindi@uni-koeln.de