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Winner of 2018 BSA/Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award

Laurie Taylor talks to Anna Lora-Wainwright, the winner of the 2018 BSA/Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award, about her study of pollution in rural China.

The winner of the 2018 BSA/Thinking Allowed Ethnography award. Laurie Taylor talks to Anna Lora-Wainwright, Associate Professor in the Human Geography of China at the University of Oxford, and author of 'Resigned Activism: Living with Pollution in Rural China' . Her study revealed the health consequences of drinking tainted water and breathing visibly dirty air in villages effected by phosphorous mining & fertiliser production, lead and zinc mining and electronic waste production. Residents suffered a range of ailments, from arthritis to nosebleeds, in areas with a high incidence of cancer. Her extensive fieldwork found that villagers often felt powerless to challenge the 'slow violence' and human costs of rapid industrialisation - their activism was tempered by resignation.
Isabel Hilton, international journalist and broadcaster joins the discussion. Isabel is the founder and editor of, an online publication that focuses on the environment and climate change. She was awarded the OBE for her work in raising environmental awareness in China.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Available now

28 minutes

Additional Reading

'Resigned Activism. Living With PollutionĀ in Rural China' by Anna Lora-Wainwright, The MIT Press (2017).


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