urban spiritual ecology (2020-2022)
ESRC-funded
 

This research thinks through the spiritual ecologies of Accra, to consider an urban political ecology (UPE) that dialogues more closely with the spiritual domains of urban nature. It does so by drawing on interviews with traditional Ga priests – or Wulomei – whose power has long been contested through the matrix of the colonial-modern state.
 
They told of their role in Ga society and their relative marginalisation in political decision-making, the Wulomei shared their readings of Accra’s waterscapes and the ecologies through which ritual power is reproduced. 
 
Pivoting our conversations around contemporary Accra and the struggle to keep the city’s waterbodies free of pollution, the Wulomei express their power through a capacity to foretell the coming of urban disasters. From coastal flooding to devastating fires, these environmental predictions, or ecological prophecies, pay homage to the work that the Wulomei do to recentre the environmental spirits of the city and in turn, reclaim their place, power and knowledge in today’s Accra.

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