In the first episode of new environment podcast, Spoken Earth, award-winning author Adam Weymouth speaks with British anthropologist Hugh Brody, discussing land rights, his time in the Arctic, and the hunter-gatherer view of the world.
Hugh Brody is an anthropologist, writer, academic and filmmaker. Since he first visited the Arctic, more than 45 years ago, much of his work has focused on the Far North. He speaks several Indigenous languages, has lived there for many years, and has lent his expertise to land rights cases in both Canada and Namibia.
Hugh’s work hinges on the distinction that he draws between hunter-gatherers and settled peoples, the farmers and city dwellers. He demonstrates how what we believe to be universal truths in fact pertain only to the farmers’ way of conceiving of the world. The indigenous viewpoint is radically different, and one which could teach us much about our own. Yet these ways of life are being eradicated at an ever increasing rate, and now cling on at only the most inhospitable corners of our planet. Brody has made much of his life in these places, and the insights that he has brought back from them are essential.
Main image by Fiona Paton.