Northwestern Events Calendar


Fog in Seven Movements: Connecting Anti-Atlas Communities to Fog-Harvested Water (Jamila Bargach)

When: Monday, November 25, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, Room 1-515 (The Forum), 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Department

Category: Lectures & Meetings


This presentation will take as its initial moment the situation of some 15 villages living with no water-access, as it has been since ancestral time in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It will then trace, through subsequent movements, the building, the activation of the fog-collection project, the communities’ reactions, the general impacts and the following changes over a decade. Through the movements, the presentation will take a very close look into the constitution of the contemporary “household” in this region of Morocco, and will question accepted social and gender hierarchies in the social science literature regarding natural resource management. It will also question the normative development literature that equates water-availability to improved livelihoods and standards of living for all women. Here, the work with the women and the men reveals a nuanced portrayal of contemporary communities, straddling generations, making sense of deep ecological and social changes occurring in their homeland. 

Jamila Bargach is an activist and scholar who has dedicated her life to serving under-resourced communities in Southwest Morocco, creating sustainable initiatives through education and scientific innovation. She is the co-founder of Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture, an NGO that operates the largest functioning fog collection project in the world, a system which fosters the independence of Amazigh women in Ait Baamrane, a Berber region, by delivering potable water to their households. An anthropologist by training with a PhD from Rice University, Bargach has taught at the National School of Architecture in Rabat. She spent decades as a human rights activist helping organize residents in slums and informal communities in Morocco. In 2006, she co-founded a shelter for women in Casablanca under the aegis of La Ligue Démocratique des Droits des Femmes, which she directed until 2009. Bargach is the author of Orphans of Islam: Family, Abandonment, and Secret Adoption in Morocco (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002) and has published several articles on adoption practices, unwed mothers, gender and development. She is the 2019 Fellow at the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby College in Maine, working on the theme of Water and Human Rights.

This event is  co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Water Research.

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