The ABIDE project

ABIDE  Animal ABidings: recoverIng from DisastErs in more-than-human communities, is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) through a Consolidator Grant (ID 101043231) granted to Verónica Policarpo.

What can we learn from animals about how to recover from disasters, in particular catastrophic wildfires? ABIDE aspires to reimagine ways of paying attention to the experiences of animals in disasters, and then translate their stories. In the end, it aims to include their perspectives in current modes of knowing and governing disasters.

ABIDE  departs from the current context of acute climate crisis, which sets the stage for Dantesque scenarios of impending climate-driven disasters such as wildfires, floods, tornados and hurricanes, with related extensive loss of both human and nonhuman lives, liveable dwellings and species extinction.

Focusing on wildfires as disasters which challenge previous expert knowledge due to climate change and human exploitation of natural resources, we propose to compare three countries where wildfires have taken on increasingly critical proportions every year: Australia, Brazil and Portugal. We address a species gap in our knowledge of disasters, and wildfires in particular, by exploring the possibilities of learning with animals how to live and cope with extreme change and uncertainty in wildfire-prone areas.

Drawing on contributions from sociologists, anthropologists, biologists and geographers, ABIDE aims at attuning to, translating and including the perspectives, experiences, and stories of animals into our knowledge of how multispecies communities can better recover from the traumatic experience of wildfires.

In the end, we seek to build the foundations for a new interdisciplinary framework for addressing humans’ and animals’ ability to build and abide in multispecies communities that are more resilient to wildfires and other disasters. In so doing, we aspire to identify the landmarks of a post-species episteme, and thus push forward the frontiers of knowledge of human-animal relations, as well as contribute to a more-than-human disasters.

ABIDE is hosted at Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and at the Human-Animal Studies Hub. It kicked off officially in 2023 and will unfold until 2028.

to learn with animals how to recover from wildfires

Funded by the European Union (ERC, ABIDE, nº 101043231). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.