Rethinking young people, 'natures' and the water-energy-food nexus in Brazil
Discourses around children and nature have long been entwined. In many contexts - especially the Minority Global North - there exist pervasive and powerful arguments that children must somehow 'reconnect' with nature - with the sources of their food and energy, and with outdoor environments.
Professor Peter Kraftl, (Chair in Human Geography, College Director of Internationalisation School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) from the University of Birmingham will discuss how, increasingly, scholarship in childhood studies has questioned these assumptions - not least new materialist, posthumanist work that has questioned the categories of 'child' and 'nature' and sought to engage more entangled analyses that decentre human agency.
Building on these critiques, this paper nevertheless begins from yet another position: from research in Brazil, which has sought not to focus on 'natures' per se, but on young people's (aged 10-24) experiences of and learning about the food-water-energy nexus. Drawing together work on childhoods-natures and nexus thinking, the paper explores multiple forms of (re)connection - in terms of learning, institutional arrangements and material objects and flows that cross-cut young people's lives. In doing so, the paper seeks to engender further critical reflection upon the ways in which childhoods and natures are entwined in theory, policy-making and professional practices.